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Vice President for Design and Construction
New York, New York

The Central Park Conservancy has retained API Partners to lead an executive search to secure a Vice President for Design and Construction.

The Central Park Conservancy is seeking a Vice President for Design and Construction in the Capital Projects department who will work with the Conservancy’s executive and senior leadership team to ensure exemplary project execution and design standards consistent with the original vision of the Park while maintaining all stakeholder requirements and within established budgets and schedules.

The Conservancy recently completed a seven-year plan, Central Park Conservancy, A Plan for the Stewardship of Central Park: 2020-2027, which focuses on the ongoing capital investment of the last four decade’s investment of more than $1 billion into Central Park. The Vice President for Design and Construction will be a pivotal position, working with the Capital Projects team, and across the organization, to ensure execution of the capital program of identified projects in the Plan for Stewardship to ensure the Park’s long-term sustainability. This position will serve as a member of the Conservancy’s senior leadership team and contribute to strategic management and policy decisions across the organization.

The Vice President for Design and Construction will be a key member of the Executive Director’s leadership team that also includes the Vice President for Program Management. The department of Capital Projects is responsible for all physical planning and all restoration and reconstruction projects in the Park. Types of projects include landscapes, structures (buildings and bridges), and recreational facilities (playgrounds and athletic courts). The Department is approximately 30 people of mostly landscape architects, architects, and engineers each focus primarily on designing projects, managing consultants design efforts, or supervising construction by contractors.

This highly collaborative role, the Vice President will manage a total of approximately 15 employees which include a Studio Director for Landscape Architecture, a Director of Construction, and an Architecture team. Each of the Directors manage staff in their respective areas. The Vice President for Design and Construction will provide leadership and direction to their team of design professionals to develop designs and construct defined projects that meet all established requirements. This position will also work closely with the Vice President for Program Management who is responsible for developing and maintaining the capital plan and implementation of the Capital Program. Two Directors also fall under this area - Studio Director for Planning and Director of Program Management. Together with the Executive Director, Vice Presidents, and Directors form the Leadership Team for the department.


  • Capital Projects Leadership Team
  • Park Operations


  • Demonstrates a passion for Central Park and the Conservancy’s mission
  • Drives success with a sense of urgency, leads change, demonstrates resilience, accepts accountability
  • Drives innovation/thought leadership, develops talent, embraces technology, manages risk
  • Sets example for the highest level of ethical behavior, provides a sense of safety, fosters a sense of connection, belonging, diversity, & equity
  • Builds relationships, creates effective teams, engages stakeholders, manages conflict, respects colleague’s point of view, conveys humility
  • Takes action required to maintain the organization’s reputation for excellence in design, preservation, restoration, and management
  • Ability to delegate to maximize team performance
  • Strong problem-solving skills with ability to take decisive action


  • Establishes and upholds the highest standards in design and construction, technical quality, and project execution with original vision and Landmark status of Central Park
  • Works with Directors to ensure design intent is met and compliant with all applicable regulatory standards and codes.
  • Establishes the appropriate/right-sized program of work to compliment the capabilities of the in-house team with a strong ability to identify, select, and manage consultants
  • Collaborates with the VP of Program Management and Director of Program Management to ensure project plans are executed according to established project delivery model.
  • Manages workflow to ensure the that the program of work is executed with approved budgets and financial policies and continually strives to complete work on time and within allocated budget.
  • Provides the required managerial oversight to deliver Construction Documents and final constructed projects on schedule and on budget
  • Reports when unanticipated circumstances impact project budget and schedule.
  • Collaborates with VP of Program Management and Studio Director for Planning to direct outreach efforts for securing community support, design commissions, and regulatory project approvals.
  • Establishes and maintains standards of excellence in execution of work to maintain confidence of funding sources.
  • Leads efforts to negotiate and, when necessary, arbitrate contract disputes
  • Manages documentation of all decisions and documentation of work
  • Collaborates with other members of the Leadership Team in the development of schedules, fiscal year budgets, and project communication updates to rest of the organization.
  • Oversees all procurement, evaluation, and award of contracts related to design and construction.
  • Ensures proper coordination and collaboration among Leadership Team and Park Operations in project handover.
  • Oversees the administration of personnel matters including staff training/professional development, performance review, and disciplinary issues.


  • Licensed professional with minimum of 10 years’ experience with strong focus on consultant management
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture or in a related field
  • Passion for Central Park and the Conservancy's mission
  • Good design sensibilities experience with landscape restoration and historic preservation
  • Superior management skills
  • Ability to operate as an effective tactical and strategic thinker
  • Collaborative in nature, with the ability to establish strong relationships with key stakeholders
  • Excellent interpersonal written and verbal communication skills
  • Motor vehicle Driver’s License valid in New York State


Central Park is one of the most famous and beloved urban public spaces in the world. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1857, the 843-acre park was the first purpose-built public park in the country and is a National Historic Landmark. The Central Park Conservancy, a private not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1980 to rescue the Park which had fallen into serious disrepair. Since that time, the Conservancy has overseen the investment of approximately $1 billion in restoration of the park, and now hosts over 40 million visitors a year.

The Conservancy's mission is to preserve and celebrate Central Park as a sanctuary from urban life. The City of New York has formally entrusted the care of the Park to the Conservancy which is responsible for every aspect of its care, including landscape maintenance, capital improvements, and the visitor experience. Committed to sharing best practices in urban park management, the Conservancy is a resource for other NYC parks and for public-private partnerships around the world. The Conservancy employs roughly 325 people and has an operating budget of $80 million.