Leading global architecture and design practice Populous announces the appointment of Kristin Gibbar as chief people officer and senior principal, as well as three of its Regional Board members to its Global Holdings Board.

Gibbar, who will be based at the firm’s Americas HQ in Kansas City, brings extensive experience in leadership positions to her new role at Populous, having worked as chief human resources officer and global HR director at companies such as Black & Veatch, Amazon and Sun Microsystems.

Populous founder, chair and CEO Earl Santee says, “As our business and the range of services we can offer to clients continue to expand, our staff growth has also increased steadily. We are now at over 1,200 staff across 29 offices worldwide, so our ability to drive a global people strategy and programmes has become increasingly important.”

“Kristin’s appointment to this new global position will allow us to create consistency and harmonisation in roles, further foster leadership and career development at a pan-regional level, and strategically enhance workforce mobility, performance management, and overall talent management across our regions.”

Populous has also announced three new internal appointments to its Global Holdings Board, all of whom bring extensive leadership and project experience across the company.


(L-R) Brett Wightman, Declan Sharkey and Scott Capstack

Brett Wightman, senior principal, APAC

Brett Wightman is a senior principal and Regional Board member within the APAC region, with extensive experience in designing large-scale sports, entertainment and aviation facilities for Populous.

Based in the Populous Singapore office, Wightman has strong experience working across complex design and construction projects across Asia including Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan; KL Sports City in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; The Londoner Arena in Macao; and the soon-to-open Kai-Tak Sports Park in Hong Kong. He has also held leadership roles on recent Populous COEX, Transit-Oriented Development and Aviation projects across Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand.

Declan Sharkey, senior principal, EMEA

Declan Sharkey is currently a senior principal and Regional Board member within the EMEA region.

Sharkey has worked on a diverse portfolio of innovative projects across Europe including multiple current stadium projects in Italy, as well as arenas in Munich, Cardiff, and Cork in his native Ireland. His most recent project, the Co-op Live Arena in Manchester, is the largest in the UK and the most sustainable arena in Europe.

Scott Capstack, senior principal and design director, Americas

Capstack is a senior principal and Regional Board member within the Americas region. As design director of the Americas region, he provides oversight of the regional design process, as well as insight and in-depth knowledge of trends and innovations across building typologies.

Capstack has collaborated with NFL teams, MLS franchises, convention centres, collegiate and university programs and multiple additional clients on projects across the industry. His portfolio of work encompasses a variety of athletics facilities and convention centres, including the Los Angeles Convention Centre, Gillette Stadium and Levi’s Stadium.

Main Image: Kristin Gibbar / Supplied.