Ekta Desai



Ekta_DesaiALUM_40Under40_Logo-white-01.pngEkta Desai
BDES '08,  |  Sacramento, CA

Partner; Design Lead
SchenkelShultz Architecture
Construction & Design


Ekta Desai graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Design. She received her master’s degree in Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis with the AIA Henry Adams Gold Medal.

Following the completion of her formal education, Ekta moved to New York City and cultivated her creative roots for eight years working for international design firms in New York City and Mexico City.

In 2018, Ekta was hired by SchenkelShultz Architecture to serve as the firm’s Design Lead, hired specifically to enhance and strengthen the firm’s reputation as a design leader. In 2020, Ekta was named Partner, making her the youngest partner in the firm’s history. In this role, she is responsible for spearheading SchenkelShultz’s efforts to enrich the firm’s portfolio of work, and foster an iterative design process supported by research and analysis.

Ekta brings 15 years of diverse local, national, and international design experience, including the University of Florida’s new Public Safety Building, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, the 53rd Street New York Public Library and the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation Headquarters.

Throughout her career, Ekta has believed in the importance of giving back serving as a volunteer and mentor for a number of community organizations. In an environment where males have historically dominated the design lead role, Ekta stands out as a passionate female leader who is a pioneer in creating a more diverse and inclusive industry.