Director of Design and Construction

Industry: Facilities Management
Location: Maryland - Baltimore
Sector: Healthcare
Search ID: 22-0706-11
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Ryan R. Pugh
Ryan R. Pugh


Johns Hopkins Health System has retained Helbling to conduct an executive search to secure a Director of Design and Construction.

Position Summary 

Reporting to the Senior Director of Construction, the Director is responsible for overseeing and managing all project management services related to capital projects and regulatory compliance programs at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Howard County General Hospital, Suburban and Sibley Hospital, and various satellite ambulatory locations that require periodic support.  The Director makes decisions and recommendations for their designated unit which have direct impact in achieving the Health System’s project goals and established objectives. The Director negotiates critical and controversial issues with JHHS clients, consultants, top-level project team members, and other project support team members on a regular basis. The ideal candidate should demonstrate a high degree of creativity, foresight, and mature judgment in planning, organizing, and guiding major capital projects, programs, and strategic initiatives to achieve JHHS project and organizational objectives. The Director will oversee a team of Project Executives, Senior Project Managers, and Project Managers and an assigned capital program of $300M - $500M+.  

Core Position Expectations

The Director is responsible for ensuring that estimating, construction, and occupancy phases of major capital and/or multiple, concurrent large and complex projects meet JHHS’ project goals and objectives.  The Director should consistently meet the following JHHS objectives:
  • Ensures that effective due diligence is completed in the formulation of each project.
  • Ensures that thoughtful preconstruction cost estimates are completed timely as part of project due diligence.  
  • Ensures that projects are completed at, or under, budget.
  • Ensures that projects meet or exceed established standards of quality.
  • Ensures that projects are completed on or ahead of schedule.
  • Provides for effective and timely project communications between all parties on a regular basis.
  • Provides effective integration of diverse and conflicting views for the successful development, coordination, and implementation of projects.
  • Prepares and maintains schedule reports, cash flow reports/projections, and project status reports for all capital projects.
  • Maintains database of past projects for use in conceptual estimating.
  • Maintains and regularly updates a master listing of all active projects, which includes a snap shot of progress and milestones and the progress against those milestones.
  • Represents the Health System to outside agencies and other stakeholders.

Overall Duties and Responsibilites

1. Develops and ensures adequate organizational structure, processes, procedures, and controls to maintain highly professional and effective project management services as well as to meet organizational demands.
  • Develops, champions, and embodies a department culture founded on collaboration, emotional intelligence, effective communication, and high performance. Serves as the face of the department and aims to put team members in positions where they can be successful.  
  • Works with partner departments of Planning + Architecture, Facilities Management, and Capital Accounting, recommends personnel and funds required to carry out JHHS capital programs, which are directly related to, and directed toward, fulfillment of JHHS capital project objectives. Conceives and plans development needs critical to the overall JHHS capital project program.
  • Manages utilization of available manpower through reassignments, additions and/or deletions brought about by changing responsibilities and workload trends.
  • Manages and utilizes database systems used in managing projects and for compiling and tabulating reports, justifying workloads, personnel, time, and attendance.
  • Coordinates with direct reports, Senior Director, and Human Resources staff on all personnel matters.  
  • Evaluates the strengths/weaknesses of designated team members.  
  • Recognizes and delivers suitable services for dedicated internal client-base.
  • Makes recommendations for improving project delivery and the operations of the project management staff.
  • Reviews applications for payment as submitted by Construction Managers and General Contractors for appropriate back-up documentation, amount being applied for versus percentage of project construction completed to date, etc.  
  • Controls project budgets by independently scheduling and chairing budget review meetings when needed to track project costs, construction manager’s reserve, and owner’s reserve for current status.
  • Reviews requests for changes, modifications, and additions to project. Assesses requests against project budget/expenditures and takes appropriate action on time critical requests while making recommendation to Senior Director on material changes affecting overall budgets/schedules.
2. Responsible for supervision of project management team and external consultants. Directs project management staff to meet JHHS capital project/program goals and objectives.
  • Maintains effective coordination of all project management activities to limit impact on existing JHHS operations.
  • Sets clear expectations and effectively communicates with all parties involved in a project be it internal or external stakeholders.  Ensures the development of productive working relationships at all levels despite tight budgets, deadlines, competing interests, and high-pressure situations. 
  • Constantly meets the following JHHS capital project objectives:
    • Coordinate development of conceptual through final project budgets.
    • Establishes overall objectives for construction quality.
    • Ensures accurate records of accountability are maintained. 
    • Reviews budget and expenses on a timely basis and utilizes data to predict trends and conform programs to meet projected capital funding.
  • Responsible for developing and managing overall project schedules for assigned portfolio: 
    • Prepares and distributes to all project team members the overall project schedule indicating major project milestones, completion dates, and occupancy dates among other details. Solicits input from various project team members in preparation of same. 
    • Responsible for identifying, planning, and executing project phasing on major capital projects to minimize disruption to operations.
    • Coordinates project implementation and project impacts with all affected departments by providing effective, clear, concise, and timely communication between all involved parties on a regular basis.
    • Routinely walks project construction areas monitoring job status and progress, manpower allocation, and established project milestones are achieved to ensure that targeted completion dates are met.  Initiates corrective action as required to meet project objectives.   
    • Works with the assigned project executives and team members to coordinate all major utility interruptions to minimize disruption to operations and provides timely communications thereof to allow affected departments adequate time to prepare for utility interruption.
3. Collaborates with partner departments of Architecture + Planning, Facilities Management, and Capital Planning during the planning and design phase of each project, monitoring, and coordinating the activities of architectural and engineering consultants on assigned projects.  
  • Builds effective working relationships with leadership and team members of partner departments to effectively deliver capital project/program objectives.  Aims to build trust and effective partnerships despite having to manage a wide variety of wants, needs, input, recommendations, and priorities. 
  • Reviews proposals received with the Senior Director of Construction, Planning and Architecture, Facilities Management, and Procurement, and the assigned Project Executive/Manager, and checks for thoroughness, responsiveness to RFP, cost, and quality.  
  • Provides oversight along with the Planning and Architecture and the assigned Project Executive/Manager of the A/E throughout the design phase of the project to ensure that all requirements of the RFP are fulfilled, and project design objectives are met.
  • Reviews documentation prepared by outside consultants for conformance to JHHS guidelines for design/construction and applicable code compliance. 
  • Reviews A/E plans and specifications for adequate documentation, clarity, and constructability to avoid future cost events/change orders.
  • Ensures that the A/E consultants perform field surveys of existing project specific site conditions to avoid later discovery in the field during the construction phase. 
  • Ensures that projects meet program requirements, and balances user needs within the project budget and schedule.
  • Draws upon a thorough working knowledge of codes and ongoing re-education of code changes and updates to ensure that all projects in design meet or exceed the latest code requirements for healthcare facilities (FGI, NFPA, AIA Guidelines, etc.) as enforced by the local authorities having jurisdiction.  Also supports staff training regarding applicable codes.
4. Responsible for the overall management of the construction phase of the projects, monitoring, and coordinating the activities of Construction Managers and General Contractors.
  • Develops effective working relationships with all external construction partners founded on mutual respect and accountability.  Communicates and sets clear expectations to avoid adversarial relationships that can lead to negative, scope, budget, and schedule impacts.  
  • Assists with the development reviews of bid packages for major capital and large construction projects of high complexity. 
  • Directs the reviews of qualification statements for the selection of outside construction contractors to perform project work at JHHS.  Maintains an active level of competition for construction work.
  • Ensures areas around a given construction site are kept clean, paths of egress are kept clear, and construction and renovation projects do not detract or deter other Hospital departments and staff members from performing their respective duties. 
  • Routinely walks active construction areas monitoring construction activity for conformance to project objectives and JHHS guidelines.  Reports variances and initiates corrective action.
  • Draws upon a thorough working knowledge of codes to ensure that all projects in construction meet or exceed the latest code requirements for healthcare facilities. 
  • Ensures that all projects meet or exceed requirements and standards as imposed by The Joint Commission.  Represents Hospital to other local agencies and stakeholders.
5. Regularly communicates with staff to disseminate information, discuss issues, and seek staff feedback.
  • Holds regular staff meetings, maintaining written agendas and noting staff feedback.
  • Distributes written information from other Department staff meetings and provides overview.
  • Responsible for promoting incentive and recognition programs.
  • Fosters an atmosphere of teamwork with direct reports as well as with colleagues across the Facilities Department and the Health System.
6. Handles personal issues effectively and discretely: maintains confidentiality.  
  • Applies JHHS Policies and Procedures fairly and effectively.
  • Manages discipline appropriately.
  • Performs confidential annual, and mid-year, employee evaluations on time.
  • Communicates career path opportunities for staff members with clear expectations on how they can continue to grow personally and professionally.  Collaborates with Human Resources staff on items such as professional development and succession planning efforts. 
  • Recommends and provides resources to fulfill staff's request for required additional skill specific training identified through competency reviews.
  • Actively seeks methods to improve staff performance and responsiveness.

Desired Core Competencies

Team Builder – Serves as a mentor and role model to all team members.  Creates productive relationships up, down, and laterally within the organization founded on trust and mutual respect.  Inspires staff to meet or exceed expectations with a focus on the growth mindset and continuous improvement.
Customer-First – Builds effective relationships with hospital executives, administrators, clinical, and research staff.  Ensures that the JHHS mission, vision, values, and stakeholders’ goals and objectives inform how each project is planned, constructed, and delivered.  Communicates effectively, sets clear expectations, and adapts to challenges with responsiveness, empathy, and a “get it done” mentality.

Integrity & Ethics – Professional ethics, a commitment to health and safety, interpersonal respect, and a focus on quality are essential to delivering successful projects and building a sustainable organization.  Success cannot be achieved with the absence of integrity and ethics. 

About Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS)

Prior to his death in 1873, Johns Hopkins outlined his wish that The Johns Hopkins Hospital administer the finest patient care, train superior physicians, and seek new knowledge for the advancement of medicine. The Johns Hopkins Hospital was considered a municipal and national marvel when it opened in 1889. It was believed to be the largest medical center in the country with 17 buildings, 330 beds, 25 physicians, and 200 employees. As a Baltimore American headline put it on May 7, 1889, the Hospital’s opening day, “Its Aim Is Noble,” and its service would be “For the Good of All Who Suffer.”  
Over the next 100 years, the healthcare environment changed a great deal, particularly in the financing of patient care and research.  In response, the Johns Hopkins Hospital created The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation in 1986, moving into the community, establishing clinics, and affiliating with other hospitals in order to provide a broader spectrum of patient care and different resources for teaching and research.  
The Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS) Corporation functions as a parent holding company of its wholly owned affiliates, including The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Howard County General Hospital, Suburban Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital, All Children’s Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Inc.

About Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (JHUSOM)

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHUSOM), located in Baltimore, Maryland is the academic medical teaching and research arm of the Johns Hopkins University, founded in 1876. The School of Medicine shares a campus with the Johns Hopkins Hospital, established in 1889.


Baltimore, MD


JHHS Organizational Expectations

1. Responds promptly and positively to patients, families, associates, and all others in a respectful, courteous, and confidential manner.
  • Always maintains identifiable and professional attire
  • Respects confidentiality of patients and co-workers in all circumstances 100% of the time.
  • Operates with emotional intelligence and empathy when interacting with key stakeholders or those who JHHS’s mission is meant to serve.
2. Participates in staff meetings, committees, projects, and teams in a collaborative manner in order to resolve conflicts and meet institutional goals.
  • Attends staff meetings as scheduled 100% of the time, unless excused.  Is recognized as an "informed" participant committee member by peers and completes assignments on time.
  • Reviews and contributes to the attainment of departmental and institutional goals annually.
  • Participates and contributes to team projects.
3. Identifies personal and team learning needs and obtains necessary education to meet requirements of position.
  • Attends mandatory education programs.
  • Documents and reports all necessary education and training personally and for team members.
  • Attends JHHS provided classes or pursues outside education for continuous improvement.
  • Applies education/training to daily work standards to enhance job knowledge and skills as it relates to the job.
​4. Follows Health System and department procedures and policies.
  • Attends mandatory sessions/meetings/in-services.
  • Adheres to Hospital and Department attendance policies and procedures.
  • Demonstrates knowledge and application of hospital and department procedures and policies.
  • Reviews policy and procedure updates provided by the supervisor or hospital. 
  • Supports Hopkins’ Just Culture.

Required Minimum Education & Experience

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical, Electrical, Civil Engineering, Architecture, Construction Management, or equivalent progressive experience in the design/management of major capital projects, and a minimum of eighteen (18) years’ progressive experience in the design/management of large, highly complex healthcare/academic medical center projects.
  • Experience requirements may be flexible if a candidate holds a master’s degree and/or certifications or licenses such as a Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Construction Manager (CCM), Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC), LEED AP, Registered Architect (RA), Professional Engineer (P.E.), or other relevant professional certification or license.   
  • Demonstrates effective leadership and indirect supervision of diverse project team including multiple internal departments, consultants, and contractors. Demonstrates excellent verbal and written communication skills.  
  • Exhibits ability to achieve project objectives on multiple complex projects running simultaneously. Working knowledge of building codes/standards and the application thereof.

Johns Hopkins Health System is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.
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