Senior Director for Facilities Operations

Pasadena, California 91125

Posted: 4/28/22
Deadline: 5/26/22
Salary: Competitive

About This Organization

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering Institute that marshals some of the world’s brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions and pressing societal challenges. Caltech’s extraordinary faculty and students are expanding our understanding of the universe and inventing the technologies of the future, with research interests from quantum science and engineering to bioinformatics and the nature of life itself, from human behavior and economics to energy and sustainability.

Caltech is small but prizes excellence and ambition. The contributions of Caltech’s faculty and alumni have earned national and international recognition, including 44 Nobel Prizes. The Institute manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA, sending probes to explore the planets of our solar system and quantify changes on our home planet; owns and operates large-scale research facilities such as the Seismological Laboratory and a global network of astronomical observatories, including the Palomar and W. M. Keck Observatories; and cofounded and comanages LIGO, which, in 2016, observed gravitational waves for the first time.

The Institute has one of the nation’s lowest student-to-faculty ratios, with 300 professorial faculty members offering a rigorous curriculum and access to varied learning opportunities and hands-on research to approximately 1,000 undergraduates and 1,250 graduate students. Caltech is an independent, privately supported institution with a 124-acre campus located in Pasadena, California.

Job Duties

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech), a world-renowned science and engineering Institute, invites nominations and applications for the Senior Director for Facilities Operations.

Reporting to the Vice President of Facilities, the Senior Director provides strategic and day-to-day leadership for facilities operations, including utility plant operations, engineering and project management, skilled trades, grounds maintenance, and custodial services. The Senior Director is responsible for the overall supervision, leadership, direction, and coordination of approximately 225 people, with an annual operating budget of $17 million dollars. The Senior Director oversees all facilities operations, including utility plant operations, engineering and project management, skilled trades, grounds maintenance, and custodial. This person is responsible for ensuring efficient and effective facilities operations services and solutions are provided in support of the research and education mission in academic and support buildings.

Specific responsibility areas include:

Provide direct supervision of professional and trade staff and other key personnel involved in operational and administrative responsibilities.
Prepare annual operating budgets; monitor expenditures to assure that funds allocated are effectively utilized and expenditures within approved allocations.
Monitor operational activities to assure that mission requirements are effectively fulfilled with a view toward best practices, cost-effectiveness, and institute sustainability goals.
Establish procedures, rules, and regulations for the effective operation of campus facilities. Render decisions on operational and personnel matters.
Provide strategic planning, including long- and short-range plans to improve services, reduce costs and implement new systems, techniques, and processes to provide higher value service to the campus.
Provide advice and assistance on matters relating to building maintenance, modification, and repair of campus facilities, building systems, and grounds.
Promote teamwork among the staff and other areas of the campus, particularly Facilities Services, Design and Construction, Faculty Housing, Security, and Environmental Health and Safety, and emphasize continuing professional development to ensure a high level of support to the campus community.
Coordinate the delivery of effective facilities operations to campus auxiliaries that also have an integrated maintenance force.
Oversee the development, implementation, and maintenance of standard operating procedures for facility systems, emergency response, workplace services, and department guidelines.
Responsible for establishing requirements for infrastructure and facilities services contracts.
Responsible for utility operations and on-site generation.
Develop, implement, and maintain key performance indicators for performance reporting and to compare against industry benchmarks to measure performance.
Perform as Operations Branch head in the Emergency Operations Center when activated and for exercises and drills.
Be capable of responding 24/7 by phone, if needed, to resolve facilities issues.
Perform other functions as directed by the Associate Vice President for Facilities.

Required Qualifications


BS degree in Engineering or other related technical fields.
Minimum 10 years of experience in workplace or facilities management, including a significant period as a manager.
A strong vision for modern facilities management, including the integration of work management systems, controls technology, analytics, and predictive maintenance.
Demonstrated experience in achieving campus sustainability goals, including electrification and decarbonization of building and utility systems.
Demonstrated experience with delivering projects on time and on budget.
Thorough understanding of business operations and managing budgets.
Successfully led, supervised, and developed a large staff to provide high-quality facility solutions.
Demonstrated commitment to proactive customer service.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills with the ability to articulate technical objectives and strategies effectively to all audiences, including the ability to develop and maintain close relationships with the campus constituency and the workforce.
Highly developed interpersonal and organizational skills and demonstrated ability to work with a demanding client base and all levels of management and staff.
Must have an understanding of building systems and energy management systems.
Experience in process engineering and process improvement.
Ability to lead operations team in disaster response activities in accordance with FEMA guidelines.
Working knowledge of Federal, State, and local codes and regulations including compliance with OSHA and workplace safety standards.
Must be proficient with Microsoft Windows, Office Suite, and cloud-based programs.
Mentor and develop staff to promote professional growth and technical competency.
The selected candidate must pass a pre-employment background investigation.
Preferred Qualifications

Master’s Degree in a related discipline or equivalent experience preferred.
PE, LEED© AP, PMP, or related industry certification is a plus.
CEFP is a plus.
FEMA course completions or certifications are a plus.

Caltech has engaged Opus Partners to support the recruitment of this position. Katie Dean, Associate Partner, and Chris Stadler, Associate, are leading the search. Inquiries, applications, and nominations should be sent by email to Chris (

Caltech is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

To read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.



Required Application Materials

Inquiries, applications, and nominations should be sent by email to Chris (