1+ months

Executive Director for Planning, Design and Construction

California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California 91125

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech), a world-renowned science and engineering Institute, invites nominations and applications for role of Executive Director for Planning, Design and Construction. 

The Executive Director (ED) for Planning, Design and Construction (PD&C) is an integral part of the Facilities leadership team. Reporting to the Associate Vice President of Facilities, David Kang, the ED is responsible for the overall leadership, direction, and coordination of approximately 16 professional staff members who provide planning, design, engineering, and construction services to Caltech. 

The (ED) is responsible for effectively developing, planning, and executing Caltech’s master plan, space needs, and its capital and renewal programs.  The ED will efficiently and effectively deliver these services in support of the research and education mission in academic and administrative buildings comprising 4.5 million square feet on a 124–acre campus.   For more information about PD&C and links to current projects visit: https://dandc.caltech.edu/capital-projects

The ED must work cooperatively and collaboratively with the senior administrative and academic leadership of the institution, other campus offices and departments, key campus staff, the Board of Trustees, the City of Pasadena, and others with the goal of providing a physical environment that promotes the success of the academic and research enterprise. As such, the ED is a partner with and provides executive level support to the AVP Facilities.


  • Serve as Campus Leader for Facilities Planning, Design, Engineering, Construction and Space Utilization.
    • In close coordination with the AVP of Facilities, manage facilities project-development efforts, including consultation with relevant departments, committees, and individual faculty concerning planning, design, construction, and renovation of campus physical assets.
    • Manage the annual capital renewal program at Caltech in addition to all new capital projects and act as the primary point of contact for all campus construction, modernization, and facility design and engineering activities. Major focus of effort will be on lab renovation/construction for new incoming faculty
    • Facilitate development of construction management processes that ensure that projects are completed on time, on budget, and in accordance with the City of Pasadena building codes and zoning ordinances, and industry best practice.
    • Provide effective management of fiscal resources, including development of and compliance with multi-year budgets that supports the achievement of campus and departmental goals, which are compliant with campus fiscal practices and standards.
    • Provide effective management of human resources, including adequate staffing levels and the appropriate skills, abilities, competencies to achieve campus and departmental goals.
    • Participate or lead campus wide planning teams to develop long-term campus infrastructure management strategies
  • Work closely with the facilities management leadership team to plan and integrate facilities needs/requirements into short- and long-term maintenance plans, capital renewal, and new capital projects.
  • Develop processes, guidelines and tools to best leverage space resources across the campus. This includes but is not limited to understanding and collecting space needs, developing creative solutions to meet space needs/requirements, generation of space data and ability to provide advice and guidance on space issues to the campus constituents and leadership.
  • Provide Architectural and engineering design services.
  • Focus on project total cost of ownership and integration of sustainable concepts in project design and construction
  • Master planning and space management
  • Ensure that the design and construction of new buildings and modernization meet Caltech standards and fit within the architectural design and tradition of Caltech’s Master Plan
  • Ensure design and construction service providers (architects, engineers, contractors, vendors, etc.) comply with contractual obligations and follow University and statutory requirements.
  • Campus construction standards are developed, and projects are permitted and inspected to ensure compliance with construction standards and code requirements.
  • Safety and environmental standards are adhered to in all construction projects
  • Develop and implement strategic, business, financial, and operational plans for the Planning, Design and Construction organization to ensure proper coordination and effective management and employment of resources in support of the institute’s mission, goals, and objectives.
  • Leverage data analytics and develop KPIs to review trends, costs, and opportunities to improve business operations and develop short- and long-range plans to effectively meet mission needs.
  • Develop a team-based culture that emphasizes collaborative working relationships through effective leadership and management techniques. Create a culture of inclusive excellence and ethical behavior where employees feel empowered and valued. 
  • The ED must be an effective communicator and maintain close relationships with campus administration, division chairs, vice presidents, division administrators, faculty, other staff, and government building officials and inspectors.
  • Perform other functions as directed by the Associate Vice President for Facilities.



  • BS degree in engineering, architecture, or related discipline
  • Minimum of ten years' experience in the planning, design, construction, and modernization of large, complex facilities projects
  • Registered architect, licensed professional engineer, or certified planner; or ability to obtain California license/registration/certification within 3 years of date of hire
  • Ability to manage numerous and complex projects simultaneously, while maintaining overall budgetary and scheduling control.
  • Supervisory experience
  • Experience with Capital Program Management

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in a laboratory, education, or technical environment is strongly preferred
  • Construction management and project management experience with complex projects
  • Energetic, dynamic, and innovative leader who brings an entrepreneurial and creative approach to implement organization, administrative and financial goals and strategies.
  • Open-minded and able to establish positive working relationships and collaboration with direct reports and within the facilities team
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with the ability to effectively articulate technical objectives and strategies to all audiences
  • Ability to communicate and build relationships with a diverse range of constituencies, faculty, students, staff, and business partners and be inclusive in decision-making processes.
  • Results-oriented and successful in managing business service operations with a focus and emphasis on customer service and cost-effectiveness.
  • Experience working with multiple vendors and contractors in an effective and ethical manner
  • Master's degree in a related discipline or equivalent experience preferred.
  • LEED© AP, PMP, CEM, or related industry certification.


Caltech has engaged Opus Partners  to support the recruitment of this position. Katie Dean, Associate Partner, and Chris Stadler, Associate, are leading the search. Inquiries, applications, and nominations should be sent by email to Chris (chris.stadler@opuspartners.net).


Caltech is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

To read more Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.


Posted: 2022-08-24 Expires: 2022-10-08

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Executive Director for Planning, Design and Construction

California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California 91125

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