David Cash, chairman of design group BDP's 270-strong Manchester studio, has been promoted to international development director.
Cash has been chairman of BDP Manchester since 1994 and will continue to be based in the city but a new chairman will be appointed to run the office in the coming weeks.
BDP plans to double its foreign revenues from 10% to 20% in the next two years. Initial target locations include new offices in Eastern Europe and India. Earlier this year, BDP merged with Dutch masterplanning and urban design specialist Khandekar.
Cash will be involved with projects including a children's hospital in Ukraine and working for Ikea on new shopping centres across Russia.
Formed in Preston 47 years ago, BDP is the largest architectural firm in the UK and seventh largest practice of its kind in the world, despite having only three offices outside the UK, including its associate practice Groupe 6 in France.
Cash said: "The interdisciplinary expertise within BDP of urbanism, engineering, architecture and other design disciplines is well-placed to service growing markets worldwide.
"International work is set to become the prime focus. Currently we do 10% of our work for foreign clients. We have set a target of doubling that to 20% in two years.
"BDP expertise in retail, education, healthcare and urbanism has an international reputation and we see definite potential in these sectors.
"Diversifying client and markets will make BDP more robust over the long-term. We see the eventual level of work outside the UK as 40% of practice turnover."
BDP's Manchester studio worked on the new Piccadilly rail station and both public realm and new retail for the city's reconstruction post-IRA bomb and in Liverpool, the masterplanning and detailed design for Grosvenor's Liverpool One retail centre.
The Manchester office is due to move into a self-designed, environmentally-aware, BREEAM-rated 'excellent' building on Ducie Street in September.