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Vice President of Real Estate Planning & Development

  • Industry: Facilities Management
  • Location: Massachusetts - Boston
  • Client: Healthcare
  • Search ID: 18-0503-09

Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) has retained Helbling to conduct an executive search to secure a Vice President of Real Estate Planning & Development (VP). The VP reports to the Senior Vice President, Surgical, Procedural and Imaging Services, Facilities and Operations, Real Estate Planning and Development. The position works closely with other senior leaders at BWH and Partners HealthCare, and maintains significant working relationships with the BWH Board of Trustees. The VP is responsible for overseeing all facility development, real estate operations, facilities planning and design, space utilization, and major construction projects across the entire Brigham Health enterprise.

Responsibilities and Duties



  • Ensures quality of customer-oriented service by consistently monitoring customer satisfaction, assessing customer needs, and implementing change as required to exceed customer expectations.
  • Ensures the implementation of quality control programs for design, construction, and real estate operations.
  • Develops systems to continuously monitor the quality, safety, and appropriateness of services provided. Participates with direct reports and other personnel to assess, plan, and implement changes as required to achieve optimal outcomes.
  • Promotes a safe environment and performs all related job responsibilities safely.
  • Takes a leadership role in the development of annual and multi-year capital budgets, especially those related to real estate, and space construction and development.
  • Ensures that code requirements are consistently implemented.
  • Uses a systematic approach to ensure that staff coordinate all functions to provide a smooth, integrated operation that evolves in response to changes in the healthcare environment.
  • Selects, develops, mentors, and reviews the performance of direct reports. Promotes staff development through performance evaluation, coaching, identifying development goals, and arranging educational opportunities that enhance and encourage continued professional growth among staff.
  • Utilizes and updates benchmarking to improve operations by implementing good ideas from other groups and other industries. Shares insights with the rest of the executive team.
  • Demonstrates expertise in realigning staff and other resources to respond to service demands without compromising the overall operational effectiveness of the services provided.
  • Plans, implements, and evaluates projects, services, policies, and procedures in order to enhance performance improvement.
  • Serves as a role model in all aspects of job performance and human relations skills.
  • Oversees and directs all operating and capital expenditures for real estate, and space planning and construction, consistent with planning and design goals.
  • Ensures continually evolving “best practices” are incorporated into the work product of the entire team.
  • Develops and implements systems to monitor performance against budgets, project schedules, and established quality control standards.  
  • Effectively protects interests and ensures appropriate controls are in place to guarantee compliance with all financial, regulatory, and safety requirements.
Real Estate Portfolio Administration
Brigham Health has a large real estate portfolio comprising 6.5M square feet of leased and owned space. In addition to the primary hospital buildings at the BWH and Faulkner Hospital campuses, the VP will be responsible for managing all real estate and space planning and construction related to:
  • Ambulatory Practice Sites
  • Administrative Buildings 
  • Parking Facilities
The annual operating budget of the real estate portfolio is approximately $2.4M.
  • Negotiates and administers leases and real estate purchase and sales. Manages external real estate consultants including property managers, accountants, and brokers.
  • Oversees fiscal and operational aspects of real estate business in a single unified structure.
  • Develops lease plans for each facility and participates in updating the plan annually. Reviews the plan with Senior Vice President regularly.
  • Analyzes real estate market data and develops trend analysis to project facility needs over time.
  • Executes lease and capital transactions of all types and sizes while adhering to processes and standards.

Construction and Contracts

Responsible for all design, construction, and renovation activity across Brigham Health. This will require close collaboration with the respective institutional and corporate leadership.  Responsibilities also include leading all project administration and project management related to all real estate-related capital projects including regular moves and changes to existing space. 
Major Projects - Responsible for several planned major capital building projects in the short- to medium-term, including:
  • Emergency Department Expansion on Main Campus – Estimated Value: $59M.
  • New Patient Tower on Main Campus – Estimated Value: $1.5B.
  • Research and Enabling Building – Estimated Value: $600M.
  • Faulkner Hospital Inpatient Expansion and Parking Garage – Estimated Value: $200M.
  • Leads multiple, simultaneous large-scale capital projects including defining the scope of work, developing budgets, and establishing schedules.
  • Develops and maintains a single Critical Path schedule (CPM) showing all design and construction activity and resulting cash flows.
  • Ensures that projects are developed and implemented within policies and procedures and staying on schedule and within budget.
  • Supervises design and construction activities encompassing maintenance, renovation, and construction projects.
  • Oversees all contracts management for outside design and construction professionals (i.e. architects, engineers, etc.).
Planning and Design

Responsible for leading all planning and design activity related to capital building and construction projects. This will require close collaboration with the respective institutional leadership at Brigham Health and Partners HealthCare. Responsibilities also include leading all initiatives focused on space planning and utilization, facility planning, design, and the development and application of organizational design standards. A particular focus will be on leading and enabling Brigham Health’s transition to more contemporary work formats, including flexible workstation designs and advanced telecommuting. 

  • Works closely with architects and space planners to optimize design concepts and standards that are consistent with the priorities of executive leadership.
  • Develops and maintains a single space management process that comprehensively catalogs all current and available space and all space utilization requests across the Brigham Health enterprise.
  • Ensures positive interaction with government agencies.   
  • Works in a close and synergistic relationship with the BWH Vice President of Facilities and Operations regarding the design, maintenance and operation of building systems.
  • Integrates the facility planning function with strategies, provides strategic real estate and facility advice for the organization.  
  • Collaborates with colleagues in managing BWH’s partnership with neighborhood groups and campus abutters, ensuring that all related real estate issues are addressed smoothly and in a manner consistent with the direction of BWH executive leadership.

Reporting Relationship

Position Reports To: Senior Vice President, Surgical, Procedural and Imaging Services, Facilities and Operations, Real Estate Planning and Development

Supervisory Responsibilities:
  • Facilities Planning and Design
  • Construction and Contracting
  • Capital Planning Related to Real Estate, and Space Planning and Construction
  • Space Utilization and Management
  • Lease Management
  • MASCO/LMA Planning

Total Staff: 15

About BWH:

BWH is an international leader in healthcare delivery and has been the site of pioneering breakthroughs that have improved lives around the world. A $4.2B, 793-bed quaternary care academic medical center teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, it is internationally renowned for excellence in patient care, groundbreaking biomedical research, and training the next generation of leading physicians and scientists. BWH has been recognized for 23 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Hospitals and provides care to patients from throughout the United States and from over 120 other countries in virtually every area of adult medicine. BWH has a legacy of excellence that continues to grow year after year. BWH employs over 16,000 staff and 1,200 physicians, admits 46,000 patients annually, includes 150 outpatient practices that perform 770,000 annual ambulatory visits, and generates $650M in annual research funding.

BWH is a part of Brigham Health, a global biomedical leader devoted to maintaining and restoring health for people everywhere. Brigham Health comprises Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, (a 150-bed community hospital owned and operated by BWH, about 5 miles from the BWH campus), and Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization.

BWH is a founding member of Partners Healthcare. Partners HealthCare is a $12.5B not-for-profit health care system that is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community locally and globally. Collaboration among the institutions and health care professionals is central to their efforts to advance the mission. Founded in 1994 by Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, Partners HealthCare includes community and specialty hospitals, a managed care organization, a physician network, community health centers, home care and other health-related entities. Partners HealthCare employs nearly 70,000 people and is the largest private employer in Massachusetts.


Brigham and Women’s Hospital is located in Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA) of Boston. LMA is a thriving and dynamic community of medical, academic, research, and cultural organizations that combine to create a powerful economic engine for the city and the state. LMA institutions generate jobs, care for the sick, educate tomorrow’s workforce, and are a cultural resource to the community. The LMA is located on a 213-acre site, 3 miles southwest of downtown Boston, adjacent to the neighborhoods of the Fenway, Mission Hill, Audubon Circle, and the Town of Brookline.

Boston is a quintessential blend of colonial history and cutting-edge innovation. From the charming cobblestones of Beacon Hill and revolutionary landmarks of the Freedom Trail, to the iconic grounds of Harvard University and Fenway Park, Boston is a treasure trove of Americana. Boston often feels like a small town with all the perks of city life. The metro area features a diverse culinary scene, access to the cultural institutions, and proximity to world-class schools, employers and health care. It is historic but ever-evolving. It is on the cutting edge of medicine and technology yet traditional in its love of pastimes like cheering on hometown heroes at Fenway Park.

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  • Bachelor’s Degree is required.
  • Master’s Degree in Engineering, Architecture, Real Estate, Facilities Management or related field/discipline strongly preferred.
  • Minimum of fifteen (15) years of related experience.
  • Healthcare/Institutional experience required.
  • Executive presence required.
  • Thorough knowledge of commercial lease and related document structures required. Must be well-versed in financial and legal terminology with respect to leasing and possess a strong understanding of real estate and property management terms and concepts.


  • A leader who possesses an affinity for organizational issues including staff recruitment, retention, and development, and effective use of information technology.
  • An astute executive who possesses superb social and diplomatic skills and outstanding negotiation skills. Successful experience in achieving results through people in a complex environment.
  • An experienced manager comfortable managing many high-level projects while maintaining broad vision, sound judgment, and common sense.
  • A professional able to effectively communicate complex technical concepts to a non-technical audience. Effectively presents complex topics in a concise manner to audiences at various levels and in various sizes.
  • Proven leadership skills – ability to motivate others to quickly achieve results.
  • Ability to effectively persuade others to listen, commit, and act on a new approach.
  • Self-confident with an ability to accept and respond to challenges in a positive manner.
  • Strong and effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills in addition to project leadership and management skills.
As an equal opportunity employer, Brigham and Women's Hospital is also committed to a diverse workforce. In order to ensure reasonable accommodation for individuals protected by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Vietnam Veteran’s Readjustment Act of 1974, and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, applicants that require accommodation in the job application process may contact Human Resources at (617) 582-0100.
Search Consultant: Jim Lord
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