Emily McGee

Emily McGee

Washington, DC, US



Emily McGee is an architectural designer and researcher working at the intersection of health, resilience, and advocacy in the built environment. Her work explores architecture’s role in fostering dignity, sustaining community, and promoting global health equity.

McGee is currently a 2022 Bloomberg Health Fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health (JHSPH), partnering across initiatives in her medical planning role at HOK to bridge the gap between design, public health, and environmental justice.


HOK, Washington, DC, US, Associate | Medical Planner

As an Associate & Medical Planner, Emily is responsible for leading the medical planning effort toward the successful completion of complex healthcare facilities; providing overall programming, master planning, interior/exterior design, and medical planning; facilitating with clients/user groups to understand project requirements. Emily represents HOK nationally as a technical and healthcare design expert and also leads HOK IMPACT, the firm's social responsibility arm providing pro-bono projects & services to the region. She focuses on community-based approaches and inclusive design for some of the region's premier academic medical facilities and community hospital projects.

Notable Projects:

- Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center - Washington, DC
- The UPMC Vision & Rehabilitation Institute - Pittsburgh, PA
- IU Health Academic Medical Center & Master Planning - Indianapolis, IN
- Grady Correll Pavilion - Center for Advanced Surgical Services - Atlanta, GA
- National Institute of Health (NIH) Vascular Ultrasound Labs - Bethesda, MD
- MedStar Master Planning & Facility Assessment - DMV Area

Sep 2017 - current

MASS Design Group, Kigali, Rwanda & Boston, MA, US, Design Associate | Global Health Corps (GHC) Fellow

As a Global Health Corps Fellow, Emily spent her time in service among a diverse cohort of changemakers on the frontlines for global health equity
and partnered with the non-profit architecture firm MASS Design Group whose mission is to research, build, and advocate for human dignity. As a Design Associate, Emily worked closely with the Rwandan Ministry of Health (MoH) and played a key role in formalizing and elevating the country's health Infrastructure standards. She later led a multi-disciplinary team to translate these standards into the design and construction of two prototype district hospitals. The urban realization of this prototype - the Nayrugenge District Hospital (NDH) in Kigali - includes 120-bed units, an emergency department, high dependency units, a comprehensive surgical platform, as well as maternity and child care units. Opening in 2020, NDH served as a critical access facility in Rwanda during the nation's COVID-19 pandemic response with elevated infection control measures, flexible design of naturally ventilated wards, and access to isolation units and oxygen therapy.

Notable Projects:

- Nyarugenge District Hospital - Kigali, Rwanda
- Munini District Hospital - Nyaruguru District, Rwanda
- New Redemption Hospital - Caldwell, Liberia
- Ministry of Health Design Infrastructure Standards - Rwanda

May 2016 - Sep 2017

Clemson University School of Architecture, Clemson, SC, US, Graduate Assistant | University Planning & Design Intern

While completing her studies at Clemson, Emily was hired as a graduate student assistant for the department of Architecture + Health where she conducted research and supported faculty and program initiatives. She worked primarily on the 2015 Ambulatory Care Grant supported by the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) which focused on developing design guidelines for Federally Qualified Healthcare Clinics (FQHC) for underserved populations. She also helped support the "Realizing Improved Patient Care through Human-Centered Design in the Operating Room" project through the Center for Health Facilities Design and Testing. Emily also worked to program and formalized the annual Architecture + Health summer study abroad program.

While at Clemson, Emily also worked for a year as both a designer and planner in the University's Planning and Design Office, assisting with campus projects that met the needs of students and the community. Notably, she designed and updated a comprehensive campus signage and wayfinding package which was implemented in phases from 2016-2018.

Aug 2014 - May 2016

HGA, Alexandria, VA, US, Healthcare Architecture Intern

As part of an ongoing collaboration between HGA and Clemson University to research Federally Qualified Healthcare Clinic (FQHC) design, Emily worked for a summer in HGA's healthcare studio to combine research and practice advancing facility design in rural ambulatory healthcare settings. She was involved in several phases of clinic design and outpatient surgical projects which tested strategies to improve ambulatory care surgery workspaces that reduce surgeon error and increase safety. Emily also performed a literature review, conducted precedent analysis, and contributed to the published design guidelines and graphics for the FQHC design toolkit.

May 2015 - Aug 2015

SmithGroup, Washington, DC, US, Healthcare Architecture Intern

Emily gained valuable exposure to national healthcare design expertise working in Smithgroup's healthcare design studio. She was involved in all phases of planning, design documentation, and medical equipment planning coordination for a Kaiser Permanente medical office building in Glenwood, Georgia. Emily learned valuable planning strategies to ensure a building’s resilience by laying out flexible, modular interior designs that allow healthcare systems to adapt their spaces to changing care needs over time. Emily also was involved in ongoing historic preservation efforts with the Smithsonian Arts and Industry Building as well as pro-bono efforts for the conservation roof structures designed for the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis in Turkey.

Aug 2012 - Dec 2013

MSKTD & Associates, Indianapolis, IN, US, Healthcare Architecture Intern

Emily's first exposure to healthcare projects was working as an intern in MSKTD's branch Indianapolis office. During this time she was involved with an inpatient room renovation project for Indiana University's IU Methodist Hospital; which focused on modeling and detailing the headwall units, and installing overhead patient lifts to enhance staff ergonomics and minimize patient falls. She worked closely with senior designers on a variety of visualization and marketing material, as well as supported all phases of the design process and project documentation. During this time, Emily also worked on a clinic project focused on environmental sustainability following USGBC’s green building standards and gained LEED certification.

Jan 2012 - Aug 2012


Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, US, Masters, Public Health

Emily is currently pursuing an Executive Masters of Public Health (MPH) degree at Johns Hopkins. Her research explores architecture's role in curbing environmental and occupational hazards within public health within cross-cutting themes rooted in equity, evidence, and policy. Selected as a 2022 distinguished Bloomberg Health Initiatives Fellow, Emily is one of six focused on Environmental Health; studying the relationships between people and their environment, and how our urban landscapes promote human health and well-being to foster healthy and safe communities.

The Bloomberg Fellows Program is a groundbreaking initiative that provides world-class public health training to individuals in organizations tackling critical challenges facing the United States. With HOK as a supportive partner organization, fellows receive a full scholarship to earn an MPH or DrPH degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Mar 2022 - current

Clemson University, Clemson, SC, US, MArch, Master of Architecture + Health

The most structured and established program of its type in the United States, the Clemson University Architecture + Health Program includes a comprehensive framework of coursework appropriate for both the practice of architecture and a focused area of expertise in the study and design of Architecture for Healthcare. The curriculum concentration included the study of health facility design and relationships between architectural settings and their impact on the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and global ecosystems.

Emily took a unique and global approach to her studies and time in the program, working as a graduate assistant and also taking advantage of the program's fluid campus program for a semester abroad in Genova, Italy. While at Clemson, Emily was selected to participate in the 2015 AIA Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) Student Design Charette team at the annual Healthcare Design Conference. During the height of the 2015 ebola crisis, McGee co-designed a mobile isolation unit for communicable diseases that won first place in the international design competition sponsored by the Union of International Architects Public Health Group (UIA-PHG).

Emily graduated top of her class and received ample recognition for her design work and scholarship, including the 2016 Mickel Travel Prize, the 2015 Martin A. Davis Award, and as a finalist for the 2016 AIA Henry Adams Medal. Her thesis focused on developing storefront clinic prototypes to deliver primary care to medically underserved populations. In 2016 she received a Torrance Memorial fellowship to help support and implement her design in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Jan 2014 - Jun 2016

Ball State University, Muncie, IN, US, Bachelors, Bachelor of Science (BS), Architecture

Emily obtained her concurrent Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture alongside her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Communications.

Emily was honored in 2020 by the College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) as an inaugural recipient of the CAP "Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award."

Aug 2007 - Dec 2011

Ball State University, Muncie, IN, US, Bachelors, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Visual Communications

Emily obtained her concurrent Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Communications alongside her Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture.

Emily was honored in 2020 by the Ball State University Alumni Association as a recipient of the Ball State University "Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award."

Aug 2007 - Dec 2011


2022 Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program (CKLDP), Scholarship

The AIA|DC chapter undertook an initiative to develop a program that would help train and nurture the next generation of leaders. The CKLDP Scholar program trains 16 scholars yearly with core professional skills through sessions such as entrepreneurship and firm management, working in collaboration, the art of negotiation, client development, community leadership, industry trends, and developing the future of the practice. In June of 2022, Emily co-led the session on research and data in design, bringing industry experts in to discuss designing out of the evidence base and the importance of utilizing and visualizing to enhance both product and process. Scholars were honored at a graduation ceremony held at the District Architecture Center in October 2022.


2022 Bloomberg Health Initiative Fellowship - Environmental Challenges, Award

As a fellow, Emily is part of a 60-member cohort that will receive world-class public health training to tackle critical issues across the country. She has been awarded a full scholarship to earn a Master of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and is one of six fellows who will be working in the area of environmental challenges. Fellows are supported by their current employers, which become collaborating organizations that play an important role in the program.

The Bloomberg American Health Initiative was established in 2016 with a $300 million gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies in honor of the centennial of the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Through education, research and practice, the Bloomberg American Health Initiative works to tackle critical 21st-century challenges to health in the United States, aiming to improve health and save lives nationwide. The Initiative has since its founding emphasized advancing equity, using evidence, and changing policy.


2022 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Associates Award, Award

The AIA Associates Award is given to individual Associate AIA members to recognize outstanding leaders and creative thinkers for significant contributions to their communities and the architecture profession. Emily was one of three recipients of this national-level award, presented at the A'22 AIA National Conference in Chicago, IL.


2021 AIA AAH Herman Miller Healthcare Scholar, Scholarship

Herman Miller’s annual Healthcare Scholarship program is the result of a continuing commitment to excellence in healthcare architecture and the support of emerging architects. Each year, Herman Miller and the American Academy of Architects (AIA) announce the 2021 scholarship recipients of the award in partnership with the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH). Scholarship selections are based on the applicant’s experience and expressed interest in healthcare architecture. Emily was one of eight scholars selected to attend and honored at the 2021 Healthcare Design Conference in Cleveland, OH.


2020 Graduate of the Last Decade Award (GOLD) - Ball State University Alumni Association, Award

With more than 201,000 graduates worldwide, the Ball State University Alumni Association presents annual Alumni Awards to recognize their dedication to Ball State and beyond. The Association recognizes the “Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD)” award for nominees among all University graduates who received their bachelor’s degree within the past ten years. Emily was awarded this University honor in 2020 for demonstrating outstanding accomplishment and potential as an emerging leader through professional and community achievement. She was honored in the fall of 2021 during the Ball State Homecoming banquet.


2020 Graduate of the Last Decade Award (GOLD) - Ball State College of Architecture & Planning, Award

The Ball State College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) recognizes the “Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD)” award for graduates with ten years or less of experience since graduation. Emily was among the 2020 inaugural recipients of this college alumni award, nominated for notable accomplishments and significant impact within the construction industry, the built environment, and her community at large. The CAP Executive Advisory Board annually recognized these alumni who demonstrate outstanding professional success or achievement in their field of endeavor during an online ceremony in the spring of 2021.


2019 Rising Star in Healthcare Design Award - Healthcare Design Magazine, Award

The editors of Healthcare Design Magazine (HCD) annually select the winners of their “HCD Rising Star” awards program celebrating individuals who have been involved in healthcare design for fewer than ten years and are poised to become the profession’s next great leaders. As one of the 2019 awardees, Emily was nominated by industry leaders and profiled as one of the individuals recognized in the November 2019 issue of Healthcare Design Magazine. Recipients were also honored during the October 2019 Healthcare Design Conference in New Orleans, LA.


2016-2017 Global Health Corps (GHC) Fellowship, Award

Through a highly selective process, GHC recruits and places young professionals to serve for 13 months in high-impact roles on the front lines of global health. The GHC Fellowship Program recruits and trains talented young leaders with a wide range of skill sets and backgrounds to join and contribute to the movement for health equity. Emily served as a design fellow with MASS Design Group in Kigali, Rwanda.


2016 Mickel Travel Prize - Clemson University School of Architecture, 1st Place

This travel award, the highest award in the School of Architecture, is given annually to the most outstanding graduating Master of Architecture student with the best overall design ability, overall academic ability, leadership, and professional promise. It is made possible through an endowment established by family, selected friends, and associates of Mr. Buck Mickel. Emily received a generous travel stipend which she used to support her travel and work across East Africa while serving as a Global Health Corps fellow in the first year of her post-graduation.


2016 Academy for Architecture + Health Foundation (AAHF) George Mann Travel Prize, Grant

The travel prize has been established in honor of George J. Mann, AIA, Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA Endowed Professor in health facilities design at Texas A & M, to support travel expenses for students pursuing a healthcare architecture education. Emily used this stipend to travel to Nairobi, Kenya to attend and present her Clemson thesis work at the UIA-PHG/UBRICA Conference. The selected recipient(s) were announced at the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health Update 2016 at the SLS Summit in Chicago.


2016 AIA Henry Adams Medal Award Finalist - Clemson University School of Architecture, Award

Each year, The American Institute of Architects awards an engraved medal and certificate of merit to the top-ranking graduating student in each architecture program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (or CACB for Canadian schools). A certificate of merit is awarded to the second-ranking graduating student. These awards are provided as part of the AIA Scholarship Program. Emily was a student finalist in the selection for the 2016 graduating class at Clemson, where leadership, character, and promise of future professional contributions are considered in addition to academic achievement.


2015 Martin A. Davis Award - Clemson University School of Architecture, Award

An annual award is granted to a graduate architecture student rising into her/his final year of study in Clemson University’s School of Architecture. The award is offered in the spring semester and is based upon a combination of professional promise, overall academic standing, and demonstrated excellence in applied, evidence-based research. The Martin A. Davis Memorial Graduate Student Award was established in memory of Professor Martin A. (Marty) Davis, a distinguished professor in Clemson University’s School of Architecture and founding director of the Master of Science Program.


2015 UIA-PHG Mobile Isolation Unit Design Competition - First Place, 1st Place

This international student design competition, sponsored by the International Union of Architects-Public Health Group (UIA-PHG), sought innovative approaches that help curb the outbreak of communicable disease epidemics. The team's design developed a mobile unit that can facilitate the swift diagnosis, isolation, and treatment of patients with Ebola or other communicable diseases, and safely transport infected patients to facilities that are able to provide appropriate care. The project won first place and was displayed at the 2015 UIA-PHG Conference in China.

Project Partner: Asma Sanaee


2015-2016 Torrence Goldston Hanner, Sr. (1928) Memorial Fellowship Endowment, Grant


Areas of Specialization