Senior Director Facility Operations

Industry: Facilities Management
Location: Maryland - Baltimore
Sector: Higher Education
Search ID: 21-0706-14
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Matthew D. Lesher
Matthew D. Lesher
Thomas M. Dunn
Thomas M. Dunn


Johns Hopkins University has retained Helbling to conduct an executive search to retain a Senior Director Facility Operations.

General Summary 

The Senior Director Facility Operations is a senior member of the division’s leadership team and is responsible for approximately 260 employees in support of 4.5 million square feet of building space constructed on 136 acres of land. The Senior Director currently has four direct reports and provides leadership to managers, supervisors, operations, and administrative staff to ensure all physical assets including buildings, landscape, and utilities infrastructure on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus, and at select off site properties, are operated and maintained at the highest quality levels and in an efficient fashion. These areas of supervision include facilities maintenance and repair, custodial services, landscape services, utilities generation and distribution, engineering, and Residential Life facilities. In addition, this position provides leadership and oversight of a number of University-wide programs including energy procurement, deferred maintenance, and maintenance strategies, as well as specific technical support for independent academic centers, divisions, and real estate. This position reports to the Vice President Facilities & Real Estate.

For more details, please view the position profile by clicking the image to the right. 

Essential Job Functions

  • Provides leadership and direction for all physical plant personnel assigned to operate and maintain the buildings, landscape, and utilities infrastructure for approximately 4.5 million SF on the Homewood Campus, including academic buildings, libraries, recreation, athletic, and housing facilities. Leverages MAXIMO and other facility systems to manage work and develop metrics for performance assessment and improvement.
  • Manages campus utility production and distribution systems that provide cogeneration (4.6Mw), chilled water (11,000 Tons), and steam (225,000 Pounds per Hour). Responsibilities include oversight of operations, maintenance, and capital renewal. Provides leadership in updating the utility master plan, campus conversion from steam to hot water heating, and implementation of sustainability objectives to be identified in a planned update to sustainability goals.
  • Provides oversight of several off campus properties adjacent to Homewood, including the School of Education Building, and technical support to a number of independent academic centers, divisions and real estate as needed.
  • Responsible for developing and overseeing deferred maintenance program across the University.  This includes developing a five-year plan for the Homewood campus (annual $5M to 10M budget); managing the University-wide facility condition assessment process; and generating and refreshing data, establishing targeted investments, and tracking budgeted and actual expenditures on deferred maintenance for all divisions. 
  • Works jointly with Design & Construction and Planning & Architecture to develop design standards, provide design reviews, and collaborate to ensure MEP and operational standards are adhered to in design, construction, and renovations of University assets.  
  • Provides direction and oversight of all housing maintenance and custodial operations in accordance with Homewood Student Affairs operating requirements. This includes daily operations, budget development and administration, and capital renewal programs.
  • Works with University labor relations personnel and bargaining unit senior leaders to ensure the bargaining unit contract and University policies are administered properly. Serves as Homewood Campus representative on the University’s labor relations team for bargaining unit contract negotiations.
  • Communicates with all levels across the University community, including students, bargaining unit employees, deans, department heads and directors, and executive staff and trustees. Communicates with entities outside the university including consultants, government agencies, and other groups engaged in University business.
  • Serves as Operations Chief within the Incident Command System for the Homewood Campus. This position is the highest ranking operations role within the system and has full responsibility for managing all tactical operations at the incident.
  • Develops and manages annual operating budgets, totaling in excess of $65M. Provides accurate expense projections to meet targeted goals and top level five-year budgets.
  • Provides direction for managing departmental support of major campus events including commencement, homecoming, and trustee meetings; works closely with Director of Special Events and the President’s office.
  • Ensures departmental compliance with JHU, OSHA, and MOSHA safety regulations.

Supervisory Responsibility

Direct reports include two Associate Directors, a Facility Manager, and an Administrative Assistant with approximately 260 indirectly reporting personnel.

Budget Authority

Oversees an annual operating budget of over $65M.

The Organization

The Johns Hopkins University is one of the world’s leading research universities. Based in Baltimore, Maryland, the University comprises 10 academic and research divisions and numerous centers, institutes, and affiliated entities throughout the Baltimore-Washington area and abroad. Divisions of the University include: the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering, and the School of Education on the Homewood campus; the School of Medicine, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the School of Nursing located nearby in East Baltimore; the Peabody Institute and the Carey Business School in downtown Baltimore; the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. with campuses in Bologna, Italy and Nanjing, China; and the Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. Johns Hopkins has a total enrollment of more than 25,000 students and an endowment of more than $4B. The University attracts the finest undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and receives more federal research and development funding than any other university in the United States. 

The mission of the University is to educate its students and cultivate their capacity for lifelong learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world. Johns Hopkins’ planning, design, and construction initiatives are closely tied to both the mission of the University as well as President Daniels’ vision for the University as expressed in his Ten by Twenty goals. Johns Hopkins is extraordinarily entrepreneurial and excellence-driven, and this entrepreneurial spirit generates the innovation for which Johns Hopkins is known internationally—innovation that often happens through collaborations that harness complementary strengths to find solutions to the greatest societal, philosophical, and scientific challenges.

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Minimum Qualifications (Mandatory)

A Bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline or technical equivalent and a minimum of ten years of progressive managerial experience in a facilities environment is required.

Additional education may substitute for required experience and additional related experience may substitute for required education, to the extent permitted by the JHU equivalency formula.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bargaining Unit experience in an academic environment. 
  • A strong mechanical or electrical background and experience with large campus utility infrastructures.
  • Master’s degree and/or professional certifications in technical or facility management related disciplines.

Special Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Requires ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with diverse constituencies and must have outstanding customer service and consensus building skills. 
  • Requires ability to successfully create plans and prioritize, execute, and monitor strategic operational plans that focus on reliability, mission effectiveness, and cost efficiency, using technology. 
  • Requires ability to use technology to monitor and improve operations. Demonstrated use of analytical/numerical thinking and trending, assessing, and measuring effectiveness in order to make effective decisions. Demonstrated data analysis skills (able to track, manipulate, and analyze data) and ability to identify patterns and trends and make recommendations for improvements.   
  • Requires ability to provide leadership and direction for maximizing asset value and maintaining multiple use facilities and large scale complexes. 
  • Requires ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with diverse constituencies and must have outstanding customer service and consensus building skills. 
  • Excellent executive-level written and oral communication skills are required. 
  • Computer literacy and working knowledge of engineering plans and specifications. 
  • Experience in performance management is essential.

Physical Requirements

  • Sitting in a normal seated position for extended periods of time.
  • Reaching by extending hand(s) or arm(s) in any direction.
  • Finger dexterity required to manipulate objects with fingers rather than with whole hand(s) or arm(s), for example, using a keyboard.
  • Ability to see within normal parameters.
  • Ability to hear within normal range.
  • Ability to move about.
This description is a general statement of required major duties and responsibilities performed on a regular and continuous basis. It does not exclude other duties as assigned.

Johns Hopkins University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.
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