David M. Childs (born 1941 Princeton, New Jersey) is an American architect who was a long-time employee with In at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). In 1991, he became the firm's fist chairman during a difficult time for SOM. sales had dropped, SOM's dedication to Modernism seemed outdated and Childs had to face the pressures of debt repayment and legal battles with former partners.
In the following years David Childs managed to steer the firm toward designing and building institutional projects, such as transportation facilities, airports, and religious buildings, including the Chicago Transit Authority building, the Commonwealth Edison building, also located in Chicago, and the Islamic Center in New York. Projects on foreign ground furthered the firm's turnaround. By 1995 SOM has rebuilt itself on a portfolio of international high-rise and infrastructure projects.
Currently David Childs is President Emeritus at SOM. He is still a consulting partner at the firm and he is currently responsible for the redesign and construction of the new One World Trade Center in New York.