Director of Operations - University & Commercial Real Estate

Harvard University   •  

Cambridge, MA

Industry: Education, Government & Non-Profit


11 - 15 years

Posted 55 days ago

Duties & Responsibilities

The Director of Operations oversees all day-to-day operations in the Harvard Real Estate (HRE) portfolio. This position oversees operations and financial management of a diverse portfolio that includes ~1.5M square feet of office space filled primarily with University colleagues, 350,000 square feet of retail space reflecting a range of offerings, 500,000 square feet of warehouse properties and a diverse mix of University-owned historic buildings, hotels, a vacation rental property and other assets. Property locations vary but are primarily located in and around Cambridge/Allston campus of Harvard University. This person will also contribute to key strategic projects in a rapidly changing environment that includes both academic and commercial stakeholders.


  • Oversees and manages a portfolio of properties with the goal of achieving exceptional tenant experience while controlling costs and expenses.
  • Leads, engages, mentors, and supports operations team of 17 people. Coaches & guides team in areas of property performance, customer service, employee engagement, career development & cross training of skills to attract and retain talented team of committed real estate operations professionals.
  • Leads development of HRE procedures and guidelines that contribute to consistent quality in tenant experience, operational efficiency, preventative maintenance, curb appeal, financial management and other core aspects of stewardship. Collaborates with a variety of stakeholders to train the HRE team to implement the procedures and guidelines consistently and effectively.
  • Acts as the financial liaison with property managers and the finance group to develop cost-effective operating and capital budgets and to ensure adherence to budgets and capital requirements of the assets.
  • Develops new ways to quantitively assess portfolio performance through the development and monitoring of key performance indicators and related action planning.
  • Works closely with Managing Director and HRE leadership team to advance strategic planning to further Harvard's commercial and university real estate goals.
  • Works closely with the evolving leasing team to ensure coordination and highest level of quality service to tenants, prospective tenants and the University Community.
  • Collaborates with a variety of stakeholders to plan and execute capital improvements, ensuring conformance to University standards, building codes and budget.
  • Ensures compliance with management agreements, program regulatory agreements, OSHA compliance, and local ordinances.
  • Ensure that decisions and policies are effectively communicated and consistently placed into practice throughout the unit.
  • Contributes to a positive, professional culture that embraces teamwork, creativity, collegiality, necessity of change, appropriate workplace humor and continuous improvement.
  • Embraces the University's sustainability goals and contributes to strategies that lead to a reduction of utility consumption and eventually, a fossil-fuel free campus by 2050.
  • Embraces diversity, inclusion and belonging and supports efforts to make Harvard a welcome place for all.
  • Take on additional responsibilities and manage special projects as requested by the Managing Director.

Basic Qualifications

Bachelor's Degree, 10+ years progressively responsible property/facilities management experience required, including experience leading a team of comparable size.

Additional Qualifications

  • Strong communication & team-building skills essential. Must be able to communicate effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders in academic and commercial settings. Ability to listen to feedback and constructively problem-solve is critical to success.
  • Ability to plan and execute strategically at an executive level but also contribute to urgent on-the-ground problem-solving when necessary.
  • Must be able to effectively supervise all levels of property/facilities operations employees, including construction project managers, property operations assistants & facilities engineer, with a strong emphasis on financial management. Experience working in a matrix organization with shared responsibility for capital project execution helpful.
  • Looking for strong track-record of follow-up and follow-through. Must be creative, flexible, positive, highly organized, and able to develop and implement systems and procedures, and communicate process effectively.
  • Experience w/ MS Office systems, Yardi leasing system, OSHA regulations preferred.
  • Experience working in a setting with both institutional and commercial tenants preferred.