Job Listings

Managing Director, Campus Planning

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, 02138
Institutional Research and Planning
University Administration


Job Summary
Harvard University is seeking an inspiring, collaborative consensus-builder to join HUPAD's senior leadership team as Managing Director for Campus Planning. Reporting to the Chief of Planning and Design, the Managing Director, Campus Planning will provide leadership and direction to the Campus Planning (CP) professional team of 11+ employees which is primarily focused on the established campuses in Boston and Cambridge. The CP team supports the University's facilities, institutional land, and capital financial resources in collaboration with the Schools and Departments and the broader community.

As the leader of the CP team, the candidate will oversee the work of the Campus Planning team and coordinate closely with HUPAD colleagues (among them the Urban District Initiatives team and the Planning Resources team) and leadership of schools and units to provide expertise in strategic institutional physical planning, design, and public approvals to create a sense of place, promote physical connections, enrich the campus experience, and guide institutional development. The candidate will be responsible for identifying and implementing best campus planning and design practices, advocating for campus, and building design excellence, preservation of campus character, and the creation of a coherent campus, through coordination with university faculties and departments, cooperation with public officials and outreach to other stakeholders. The Managing Director will work collaboratively with the HUPAD Senior leadership towards ensuring HUPAD's goals and mission are met. 

Further, the Managing Director will collaborate with all Harvard Schools and Departments and build consensus toward developing and advancing visionary agendas while delivering client-centered results. The Managing Director will lead complex multidisciplinary teams responsible for comprehensive campus planning and design initiatives across Harvard's campus locations. In consultation with Harvard Public Affairs and Communication (HPAC), the Managing Director will build partnerships with public officials and external committees on complex and sensitive planning issues and projects while providing strategic expertise in land use, design, and development planning. The Managing Director will also represent the University in public hearings and processes.

Position Description
Strategic Leadership: Provide strategic direction and leadership for campus planning initiatives that align with Harvard University's mission and values. Develop and implement long-term planning strategies to support the "One Harvard" vision and foster collaboration across schools and units. Collaborate with University leadership to establish long-term development objectives and prioritize projects in line with institutional priorities. Develop and support overall planning framework for the University focused on flexible campus development and land use strategies, design excellence, campus connectivity, sustainability, and climate resiliency. Craft and oversee public approvals strategies for university initiatives and projects that incorporate a sensitive approach to external requirements and constituencies while meeting University priorities.

Planning, Design and Public Approvals Oversight: Oversee the development and implementation of physical and master planning initiatives. Lead efforts to create inclusive, welcoming, and resilient campus environments that support teaching, research, student life, and community well-being. Stay informed about local, state, and federal regulations and planning initiatives related to campus development. In coordination with the HPAC, lead the University's planning efforts and public approvals with the local municipalities of Boston and Cambridge. Collaborate with University stakeholders to ensure that academic priorities are appropriately translated into physical spaces.

Policy Development: Working with team across HUPAD, jointly develop and implement University policies, design guidelines, and standards related to land use, development, open space, transportation, housing, historic preservation, physical accessibility, space use, environmental sustainability, and climate resilience planning. Oversee and manage the University's Designer Selection and Design Review policy and process.

Stakeholder Engagement: Foster and build productive relationships with internal stakeholders including academic faculties, administrative units, and University affiliates. Collaborate with external partners, host communities, and community stakeholders to address mutual concerns and promote mutually beneficial campus planning practices.

Team Management: Provide mentorship, guidance, and supervision to a diverse team of professionals and foster a culture of collaboration, innovation, empowerment, and continuous improvement;

Communication and Advocacy: Serve as a spokesperson and advocate for campus planning initiatives within the Harvard community and beyond. Communicate complex planning concepts and strategies to diverse audiences through written reports and analyses, presentations, and public forums;

Budget and Resource Management: Develop and manage departmental budgets, allocate resources effectively, and seek external funding opportunities to support campus planning initiatives and capital projects. Develop and manage the budget for campus planning activities, ensuring effective use of resources and alignment with institutional priorities;

Continuous Improvement/Innovation: Stay abreast of emerging trends, best practices, innovations, and disruptions in campus planning, design, and higher education. Evaluate how trends in areas such as technology, sustainability, accessibility, and community engagement can enhance campus planning processes and organizational effectiveness.

Note: This search is being conducted by Helbling, please see details below on how to apply. 

Basic Qualifications
Qualified candidates for Managing Director, Campus Planning will bring demonstrated ability to establish constructive and cooperative working relationships with persons in leadership positions, and a strong record of accomplishment as a leader of a design organization within a major academic or public sector institution or in a planning and design firm. Must have an understanding and a proven track record in working effectively in a consensus-driven environment, and a complex, decentralized ecosystem.
  • An advanced degree in urban planning, architecture, or urban design;
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in managing multiple and diverse projects in campus planning, urban design, and development, preferably within a higher education or large institutional setting with diverse stakeholders;
  • Minimum 10 years of experience demonstrated leadership/management/supervisory experience in a matrixed environment and/or higher education in urban planning and design.
Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • Ability to provide overall conceptual and executive direction through a network of leaders;
  • Exceptional physical planning and design skills;
  • Experience in working with relevant local, state, and federal regulations;
  • Ability to negotiate, build relationships, and work in a consensus-driven environment including internal and external stakeholders with divergent interests;
  • Strong understanding of land use regulations, zoning ordinances, and urban planning principles;
  • Expertise in regulatory compliance and experience in influencing regulation on construction and real estate development;
  • High emotional intelligence;
  • Passion for planning and design with the ability to take calculated risks as necessary to achieve institutional goals;
  • Strong negotiation and persuasion skills;
  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to engage diverse stakeholders and facilitate consensus-building processes;
  • Experience leading a complex organization through organizational change with a high level of adaptability within a complex, decentralized environment;
  • Knowledge of Boston, Cambridge and Harvard communities is a plus;
  • Membership in relevant professional organizations (e.g., American Planning Association, American Institute of Architects) is desirable.
Additional Information
TO APPLY: Helbling executive search has been retained for this engagement, with Jim Lord and Matt Lesher as the search contacts.
To express interest in this role please submit your letter of interest and resume to: and or apply on their website and they will be in contact directly. All discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up to date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Work Format Details
This is a hybrid position that is based in Massachusetts. Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed within one of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.

About Us
Harvard University Planning and Design (HUPAD) is responsible for the stewardship of one of the world's most iconic campus settings and advances Harvard's mission of teaching and research by enhancing, sustaining, and optimizing the physical campus to achieve planning and design excellence. While remaining centered in its historical Cambridge and Boston geography, the University today includes diverse campus locations throughout the United States and the world.

We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.
Job Function
General Administration

Department Office Location
USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
361062 Administrative Manager

Work Format
Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)

Salary Grade


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status

Pre-Employment Screening
Education, Identity

Full time. Monday through Friday. 35 hours per week. 

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.
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