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Director of Architecture & Planning - School of Medicine
Baltimore, Maryland

Our client, a top research university and healthcare system, has received honors and accolades for consistently driving innovative, impactful life sciences and healthcare research and delivery. World class talent permeates every aspect of the organization, providing industry leadership in research, healthcare, facilities, planning, engineering, and design. Their team-oriented structure promotes collaboration and innovation, while supporting ongoing investment in talent and technology. Their planning and design-focused culture is collaborative and passionate, enabling professionals to thrive while positively impacting the future of healthcare research and delivery. Given the university and healthcare system’s organic growth and impact, they are seeking a Director of Architecture & Planning in Baltimore, MD.

The Director of Architecture & Planning is responsible for overseeing and managing master planning and design services related to capital projects and regulatory compliance programs for the School of Medicine. The Director leads with advanced technical knowledge in the laboratory planning and programming of academic research, pharmaceutical, biotech, or other emerging technical facilities. They provide technical planning expertise and leadership for laboratory facilities in the areas of programming, design, fit-out planning, equipment planning, MEP systems integration planning, casework specification, and construction administration. In addition, they participate in user group meetings (with heads of departments, specialists, etc.) to collect program needs for laboratory specifications in technical facilities. The Director develops a comprehensive understanding of clients’ program requirements and standards, and policies for completion, while guiding the design development, modification and/or review of laboratory planning concepts for clients, designers, and the project team.

The Director negotiates critical and controversial issues with 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 of major life sciences capital projects, programs, and strategic initiatives to achieve project and organizational objectives. The Director will oversee a team of Planners and Designers to ensure that planning, design, and finishes are executed to align with industry best practices and regulatory requirements for a multitude of complex life sciences projects (large and small). The Director will be actively involved in planning and designing academic research laboratories and will be spearheading a new $1bil Life Sciences Building, the anchor of a Life Sciences Corridor in East Baltimore. 

The Director is responsible for ensuring that initial phases of planning and design including master planning, basis of design, programming, and schematic design phases of major capital and/or multiple, concurrent large and complex projects meet the project goals and objectives. (The Director has oversight to all the capital projects, regardless of their total budget, for the affiliates he/she is assigned.)

The Director should consistently meet the following objectives:

  • Ensures that effective due diligence is completed in the formulation of each project.
  • Ensures that planning is responsive to the client’s business plan and is completed in a timely
  • manner, as part of each project’s initial due diligence. Equipment replacement projects are not required to have a business plan; however, planning should be completed in a timely manner to help ensure continuity of equipment availability.
  • 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 plans, presentations, and project status reports for all capital projects in their designated location(s) for which the Director is responsible. Capital expenditures will be continuously assessed.
  • If expenditures slow down at the designated locations, he/she may be asked to pick up a project(s) at another location. If workload increases at their designated location staffing will be assessed to accommodate the workload.
  • Maintains database of past projects for use in conceptual planning.
  • Maintains and regularly updates a master listing of all active projects, which includes a snapshot of progress and milestones and the progress against those milestones.
  • Represents to outside agencies and other stakeholders.


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.
  • Collaborates with Construction, Facilities Management, and Capital Accounting, recommends personnel and funds required to carry out capital programs, which are directly related to, and directed toward, fulfillment of capital project objectives.
  • 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 planning and the operations of the Architecture and Planning staff.
  • Reviews timely, applications for payment as submitted by master planning consultants, architects, and engineering consultants etc., as required. Works with administrative staff to process billing/payment questions. Supports the timely close-out of capital projects.
  • 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 the Architecture and Planning team reporting to the Director and the external consultants working on the projects for which the Director is responsible. Directs design staff to meet capital project/program goals and objectives.

  • Maintains effective coordination of all planning and design activities to limit impact on existing 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 capital project objectives:
    • Coordinates development of conceptual through final project budgets.
    • Establishes overall objectives for design quality.
    • Ensures accurate records of accountability are maintained.
  • 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 and planning 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 rounds with clinical and support service leadership.

3.     Collaborates with partner departments of Construction, Facilities Management, and Capital Accounting 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 Architecture and Planning, Construction, Facilities Management, Capital Accounting and Procurement, and the assigned Project Executive/Manager, and checks for thoroughness, responsiveness to RFP, cost, and quality.
  • Provides oversight along with the assigned Project Executive/Manager of the A/E consultants 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 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 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 academic life sciences 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 planning and design phases of projects, monitoring, and coordinating the activities of consultants and direct reports.

  • Develops effective working relationships with all external 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.
  • Directs the reviews of qualification statements for the selection of outside design firms to perform project work. Maintains an active level of competition for design work.
  • Routinely rounds and reports code variances to the Senior Director.
  • Draws upon a thorough working knowledge of codes to ensure that all projects meet or exceed the latest code requirements for academic life sciences facilities.
  • Ensures that all projects meet or exceed requirements and standards as imposed by The Joint Commission. Represents affiliates to 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

6.     Handles personal issues effectively and discretely: maintains confidentiality.

  • Applies 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.


  • 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 executives, administrators, clinical, and research staff. Ensures that the 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.


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 the 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 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 University/Health System and department procedures and policies.

  • Attends mandatory sessions/meetings/in-services.
  • Adheres to University/Health System and Department attendance policies and procedures.
  • Demonstrates knowledge and application of procedures and policies.
  • Reviews policy and procedure updates provided by the supervisor.

Required Minimum Education & Experience

  • Bachelor or Master of Architecture or equivalent progressive experience in the design, planning, and management of major capital projects, and a minimum of eighteen (18) years’ progressive experience in the design/management of large, highly complex academic life sciences projects.
  • Registered Architect (RA) preferred.
  • LEED AP preferred.
  • 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.