Paola Moya

CEO & Founder, Moya Design Partners

Paola Moya is the founder and CEO of Moya Design Partners. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture from the Catholic University of America. At age 30, she became a partner at DC-based Marshall Moya Design and worked on several key projects in the urban fabric of Washington DC, including the renovation of the historic Howard Theatre, Audi Field, MGM National Harbor, and Chuck Brown Memorial Park.

In 2017, Paola accelerated her career and founded Moya Design Partners. MOYA's diverse portfolio of projects includes Eastern Market Metro Park, housing and services for low-income families (Diane's House) and the homeless (Downtown Day Services Center), and the new DC Department of General Services (DGS) headquarters. To support the company's goal of promoting social causes, Paola and the MOYA team have organized Art After Dark, a benefit event to support DC women and artists of color while raising funds to alleviate homelessness. Born in Colombia, Paola came to the United States with her family at the age of 19. Hers is a story of self-improvement and determination. Paola completed her studies in architecture while working to support her family. This culture of effort and humility has marked her professional career and her personal passion for using design and architecture to transform society. Paola's career as an architect and entrepreneur has been recognized by various associations and institutions. In September 2021, Paola was invited to participate in a conversation with Vice President Kamala Harris in the Vice-Presidential chambers of the White House. Paola participated as a speaker at the inaugural 50th-anniversary conference of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). The Washington Business Journal (WBJ) has recognized Paola as one of the region's "Power 100 Playmakers,"; one of the top "40 Under 40" professionals, and a "Minority Business Leader of the Year." Based on her outstanding business performance and significant community involvement, Paola was part of WBJ's 2020 class of "Woman Who Mean Business" honorees. Also, in 2020, Paola participated in the Leadership Greater Washington program. In 2019, WBJ honored Paola among the top seven immigrant business leaders for her firm's contributions to the city's architectural landscape. She was named "Young Entrepreneur of the Year" by the Washington Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, and her work has been recognized with awards for design excellence from the AIA, the National Organization of Minority Architects, the International Design Awards, and Built by Women.