CTBUH Seeking Applications and Nominations for Chief Executive Officer


The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) welcomes applications and nominations for its next Chief Executive Officer. Founded in 1969, CTBUH is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to smarter, more sustainable cities and a more viable future for global populations. CTBUH is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in Shanghai, China, and Venice, Italy. CTBUH’s worldwide membership network includes companies from fields such as real estate development, architecture, engineering, cost consulting, building management, and construction, among others. In addition to hosting leading industry events, CTBUH produces research and reporting on issues of significant consequence to its membership. Its most utilized asset is its building database, a compendium of detailed data, images, and technical information on more than 30,000 tall buildings throughout the world. CTBUH is best known to the public as the arbiter of tall building height and the global authority that bestows titles such as “The World’s Tallest Building.”


Since 2006, CTBUH has experienced major growth under the leadership of Dr. Antony Wood, an internationally recognized expert in the sustainable design of tall buildings, who also holds several academic posts. With the recruitment of a new CEO, Dr. Wood is assuming the role of President of CTBUH moving forward. He will focus on content, research, academic affairs, and thought leadership, as well as continue to serve as a global ambassador and a public face for the Council.


CTBUH is at an exciting pivotal moment—its next CEO will be assuming responsibility for an organization with many strong fundamentals and the potential for significant growth. CTBUH’s strengths include a mission ever increasing in relevance, as the world’s attention focuses on the future of cities and urban development after the impact of COVID-19. CTBUH also enjoys a high level of credibility among its membership and the public with an interest in tall buildings. Many of the prominent players in the industry globally are members, though there are changes underway to help the Council become more member-driven, and offer greater opportunities for a broader range of people to contribute to its activities and outputs. Thanks to responsible fiscal management, CTBUH is emerging from the pandemic in a strong financial position. The desire of the Board of Trustees is for the successful CEO candidate to leverage these fundamentals to scale the organization for increased engagement, impact, and growth.


Among the immediate priorities for the new CEO:

  • The new CEO will work with the Board of Trustees to evaluate and refine the Council’s mission and brand and develop a strategic vision to enable the organization to reach its maximum potential. The new CEO will be accountable for aligning and managing resources to deliver on this vision.

  • As a path to increasing organizational sustainability, CTBUH is evolving its governance structure to invite more member involvement and reinvigorate its Board of Trustees to direct the efforts of a more engaged membership. The next CEO will be responsible for nurturing this new structure and ensuring its success.

  • CTBUH’s revenue primarily derives from in-person events, so diversifying revenue sources is critical. Due to COVID-19, CTBUH has temporarily transformed its signature in-person annual events (the awards conference and the annual conference), to virtual events, with an attendant impact on finances. The new CEO will be responsible for relaunching these two events and developing innovative ways to drive revenue, potentially through activities such as certification, executive education, and publication partnerships.

  • Although 50-plus years old, CTBUH is in some respects a young organization and needs an experienced executive to fill in the missing foundations necessary for CTBUH to reach its potential as an effective non-profit.

  • CTBUH staff are energetic, talented, and creative. The pandemic has stressed the organization from a staffing resource viewpoint and created a certain loss of institutional knowledge. The new CEO will help rebuild and grow CTBUH through a long-term strategy for the recruitment of future talent, while fostering a positive, inclusive, and effective workplace culture. The new CEO should demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. (Please view CTBUH’s statement here.)

  • Leveraging CTBUH’s strong financial position, the new CEO will drive success and growth in all aspects of the Council’s operation, including events, membership, leaders/committees, its network of international chapters and regional representatives, and publications, among others. The CEO will have full responsibility for setting the annual budget, in conjunction with the Trustees, and delivering on both revenue and expense targets.

  • The CEO is a crucial, public-facing role that interfaces with other organizations and works with members. The CEO will also partner with existing senior leadership including the COO, who runs day-to-day operations, and initially work closely with the President to ensure we are on the right course in our new journey. The CEO sits as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees.


Required Attributes

  • Innovative and strategic thinker who can successfully lead a complex organization

  • Collegial, works well with a shared leadership model

  • Outstanding communication skills to engage with stakeholders

  • Experience working internationally, with demonstrated multi culturally-responsive approaches

  • Highly experienced in working effectively with a Board of Trustees

  • Proven history growing an organization’s revenue and impact

  • Experience managing profit and loss for at least a $4 million budget

  • Minimum of 10 years of senior (ideally non-profit) leadership experience, with ideally 5 years as CEO

  • Passion for the mission of CTBUH


Preferred Qualifications and Experience

  • Advanced degree

  • Experience in the built environment


Please note that the above attributes and qualifications are a guide and important. However, we recognize that suitable candidates could possess other strengths not mentioned here. The important goal is to secure the right person to help move us forward in this next phase of our exciting journey.


To apply

Those interested in applying for this opportunity should send a resume and cover letter with salary expectations to [email protected]. Please use the same email for those wishing to nominate an individual.