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Carole Wedge, former President and CEO, retires after nearly 40 years

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Wedge’s 37-year career at Shepley Bulfinch evolved a historic firm into a national design practice

Carole Wedge, FAIA, LEED AP who spent the last 37 years at the national architectural firm Shepley Bulfinch, including 17 as President and CEO, will be retiring at the end of April. Wedge first began working at Shepley Bulfinch in the mailroom and became the firm’s first female President and CEO in 2004. She has led the firm through nearly two decades of expansion and hundreds of prestigious and innovative architectural projects.

Wedge was named President and CEO of Shepley Bulfinch, 18 years after advancing from a designer to an architect, associate and then principal. Wedge led Shepley Bulfinch’s growth into a national practice, expanding its business across the United States and into market areas including education, healthcare, urban development and science and technology. She broadened the firm’s portfolio through firm acquisitions, opening studios in Phoenix in 2009, Houston in 2015, Hartford, CT in 2019 and Durham, NC in 2021.

Under her leadership, Shepley Bulfinch became a women-owned firm, was awarded the 2011 American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Diversity Recognition Award, and named 2020 ENR Southwest Design Firm of the Year. As the first LEED-accredited principal at Shepley Bulfinch, in the early 2000s, Wedge led the firm to become a corporate member of the U.S. Green Building Council and a signatory to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2030 Challenge. Her emphasis on environmentally responsive design has ensured the integration of sustainable and resilient design throughout the work of the firm.

Founded in 1874 by Henry Hobson Richardson, designer of the historic Trinity Church in Boston, MA, Shepley Bulfinch’s ongoing partnerships with clients have had a vital impact on communities and institutions. As President and CEO, Wedge grew and fostered relationships with notable clients, pivotal to the firm’s development, including Boston Children’s Hospital, Princeton University, Austin Public Library, Mayo Clinic, Smith College, Banner Health, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Cornell University, Georgetown Law School, Tufts University, Yale New Haven Health and the University of Houston.


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“The depth of the relationships we build with clients is the same today as it was when I started at Shepley,” said Wedge. “The respect that we were taught to bring to our work with clients helped us to build lasting relationships. Shepley raised me as an architect, our clients mentored me and all were great advocates.”


One of the hallmarks of Carole Wedge’s tenure at Shepley Bulfinch was her leadership as a role model for women in architecture and her enduring commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. She led a new generation that achieved certification as a women-owned and led business. The firm was named to the Commonwealth Institute’s Top 100 Women-Led Businesses annually from 2011 to 2022. Additionally, she is one of the seven women who founded the national AIA Women’s Leadership Summit in 2009, which today continues as an important catalyst for the advancement of women and BIPOC colleagues in the AEC industry. 

“The impact of Carole Wedge’s leadership of Shepley Bulfinch will be felt for generations,” said Angela Watson, FAIA, Shepley Bulfinch’s current CEO and President. “The culture that she nurtured here, and within the broader architectural community, has changed the industry for the better.”

A recipient of numerous regional and national awards, Carole Wedge was consistently praised for her leadership over the course of her tenure as President and CEO. Carole was inducted as a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects in 2008. She was awarded the Women in Design Award of Excellence in 2013 by the Boston Society of Architects. In 2016, Wedge was selected to chair the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Large Firm Round Table (LFRT).

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In 2017, Wedge was selected as a member of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission (GRC), which was formed in 2010 and convenes Boston’s top business, institutional and civic leaders to advance climate resilience and carbon mitigation efforts in support of the City of Boston’s Climate Action Plan. In 2020, she was awarded the Edward C. Kemper Award by the AIA. This annual award honors a single member who carries on the legacy of continued and significant service to the American Institute of Architects.

After stepping down as President and CEO in 2021, Carole Wedge remained a principal at Shepley Bulfinch, focusing on leading educational projects and serving as a mentor for designers, women, students, and aspiring leaders at the firm, furthering the same culture of mentorship that Shepley has developed over generations.

In her retirement, she plans to continue supporting others as an executive coach and consultant. Her last day at Shepley Bulfinch will be April 30, 2023.

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