Executive Director of Capital Projects

Barnard College is dedicated to empowering exceptional women to change the world and the way we think about it. A private liberal-arts college in a unique partnership with Columbia University, it is one of the most selective academic institutions in the United States. As the College's administrative leadership structure forms under its new president, Barnard invites applications and nominations for the newly- created position of Executive Director of Capital Projects.

The Position

Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Facilities, Capital Projects & Sustainability (“AVP”), the Executive Director of Capital Projects (“Executive Director”) will manage and direct Barnard's capital program, which comprises two transformative projects (see Facilities at Barnard section, below) and a portfolio of smaller projects driven by renovation and repair and space optimization. The Executive Director will play a key role in the successful completion of these high-profile, large-scale campus projects, leading a staff of project managers to deliver planning, programming, design, and construction of capital projects on schedule and within budget. In addition to working with owner's representatives, architects, engineers and construction firms, this position requires extensive collaboration with an array of academic and administrative departments across Barnard as well as with outside regulatory agencies, Columbia University, and other local stakeholders.

The Executive Director will be a creative problem solver and change management leader who will look to improve operational efficiencies, increase the use of analytics, and implement best practices within the capital projects team at Barnard. Together with the AVP, the Executive Director will also develop Barnard's first-ever strategic facilities plan, which will look to assess, identify, prioritize, and plan for all major and minor capital constructions, renovations and remodels, and deferred maintenance projects.

The Executive Director will possess strong working knowledge of sustainable and green building design methods and will look to incorporate these practices into remodel, renovation, and construction projects wherever possible.

The Executive Director is responsible for the leadership, direction, and coordination of four FTE and for managing a 10-year capital budget of approximately $450M.

Facilities at Barnard

Barnard College's 4-acre campus is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan between 116th and 120th Streets along the west side of Broadway. Barnard's campus encompasses over 1.2 million total square feet of built space among its 16 buildings.

Barnard is embarking upon two exciting capital projects which the Executive Director will manage in collaboration with owner representatives, senior management, faculty, and trustees. First, a $250M rehabilitation of Altschuh Hall into the Roy and Diana Vagelos Science Center , known as the R&D Science Center. Upon completion, the Center will be a 14-story facility that will modernize and double the overall programmable science spaces in the building and provide students and faculty with state-of-the-art technology and facilities. The R&D Science Center is expected to open in the first half of 2026 and will be one of the first all-electric buildings in New York State. And second, a $25M rehabilitation of three floors within Barnard Hall to create the Francine A. LeFrak Foundation Center for Well-Being , which will include state-of-the-art spaces for financial fluency and wellness programs, a fitness center, and dance spaces. The Lefrak Wellness Center is expected to open in Late Spring 2024.

Barnard joined the NYC Carbon Challenge in 2009 and is proud to be one of the first NYC institutions to reach the initial goal of 30% emissions reductions from 2005 levels. In 2017, the College signed the “We Are Still In” pledge, underscoring its effort to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. Barnard is currently developing a pathway to net-zero emissions that includes building retrofits and renewable energy strategies with the goal to decarbonize campus buildings and energy systems. Barnard has also worked to green its campus through everything from lawn care to internal reuse programs and organics collection.

Competencies, expertise, and qualifications

  • Strong computer skills, including the ability to learn new software as necessary; ability to fully utilize email, electronic calendars, and Microsoft applications
  • Ability to identify, guide investment in, and optimize the functionality of contemporary project management and space utilization software
  • Strong knowledge of capital project management from an owner's perspective
  • Strong working knowledge of, and experience incorporating, sustainable building and green design aspects into remodels, renovations, and new construction projects
  • Working knowledge of relevant New York City regulatory requirements
  • Strong financial and contract management skills. Ability to negotiate with internal and external stakeholders with diplomacy and tact
  • The ability to deliver work on assigned schedules, to identify priorities within multiple assignments, and to manage (and help their team manage) multiple competing and overlapping deadlines
  • Skilled in communicating information to a diverse set of constituencies in a collegial environment
  • Demonstrated integrity and sound judgment, leadership and communication skills. Demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills. The ability to communicate and work effectively with all levels in a demanding environment
  • The ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with fellow employees, city officials, other government agencies, and the general public
  • The ability to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality and diplomacy at all times, sustain the highest level of professionalism, and be customer-service driven and flexible in attitude
  • The ability to be an effective, inspiring role model and coach with an open and collaborative style that encourages teamwork and cooperation

Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor's degree
  • 10 years of relevant experience in capital program or project management
  • 5 years of supervisory/management experience

Preferred Qualifications
  • Graduate degree in engineering or architecture
  • LEED-Certification or similar credentials
  • Experience working in higher education or a similarly complex nonprofit institution

Physical Requirements
  • Demonstrated ability to access any portion of a construction/facility site including climbing ladders to assess conditions and perform inspections of existing facilities

To Apply

Barnard College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Barnard does not discriminate due to race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship status, veteran or military status, age, disability, or any other legally protected basis, and to the extent permitted by law. Qualified candidates of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.

Barnard College has retained Opus Partners ( www.opuspartners.net ) to support this recruitment. Craig Smith, Partner and Chris Stadler, Associate, are leading the search. Please send confidential inquiries, applications, and nominations to Chris Stadler ( chris.stadler@opuspartners.net ). Required application materials include a resume and cover letter. Barnard College and Opus Partners will make every effort to sustain the confidentiality of the search process.

Salary Range: $180,000-200,000

The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The above hiring range represents the College's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.