Douglas Tom, FAIA

Founding Principal

Doug’s first job out of architecture school was a year-long stint as a VISTA volunteer in the underserved Pico Union neighborhood of central Los Angeles.  Working with other volunteers on projects that made a real difference in people’s lives had a strong impact on him, igniting a passion for socially-relevant work, particularly in educating young people.  A true collaborator, Doug’s deep connection to serving the community has shaped TEF’s culture and portfolio and informs our work with educational, non-profit, and community clients including the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco, the Child Abuse Prevention Center, Crissy Field Environmental Education Center, and the Presidio Institute.  

Doug has led several non-profit educational organizations to bring innovative learning opportunities to disadvantaged young people through nationally-acclaimed programs, including the establishment of the award-winning Build SF program of the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco, which connects public high school students with real world experience through mentors in the design and construction industry. He was a founding board member of Envision Schools and a board member of the San Francisco Education Fund.  

With more than four decades of experience, his steadfast belief in architecture’s role as a mechanism for social agency continues to drive his practice -- whether breathing new life into an historic public library or crafting a first-of-its-kind clinic in the Bayview serving children and families experiencing trauma.

Doug earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at UC Berkeley.
“We make a choice as architects to work with clients who are mission driven -- schools, non-profits, healthcare providers -- to enrich our communities and make a difference.”
Douglas Tom, FAIA