Drawing on four decades of practice experience, Meral Iskir enables the transformation of overlooked neighborhoods into thriving communities in metropolitan Washington, DC and beyond. In the past 17 years since co-founding SK+I, she has led more than 100 urban projects in the Mid-Atlantic Region, inspiring other urban-neighborhood pioneers locally and nationally.
Her leadership reflects her training in Istanbul and Washington, DC, where she achieved many hard-won firsts. Having earned her undergraduate architecture degree in Turkey, Meral was the first and only woman in her Master’s degree program at Catholic University’s School of Architecture and Planning. A decade later, she became the first woman associate of a 30-year-old, 100-employee architecture and urban design firm. In four years, she became the firm’s first woman partner. In 1999, she co-founded SK+I, an architecture firm that reflects the diverse urban sensibilities of the neighborhoods where she builds.
Today, Meral manages an exemplary practice of architects from nearly 20 countries, representing more than 30 cities worldwide. In harmony with the diverse neighborhoods she serves, she fosters an inclusive, multicultural workplace culture for the next generation of practitioners. Seventy percent of her senior managers first studied architecture outside the U.S. and have since become registered architects and AIA members. Meanwhile, she has advocated for excellence in the profession through multi-year terms on Catholic University’s School of Architecture and Planning Board of Directors and work with its 2015 CUArch Accreditation Committee.