Executive Director, Campus Energy, Utilities, and Operations

Washington, United States
Competitive Salary
Aug 07, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The University of Washington seeks a seasoned and collaborative energy and utilities engineering leader to serve as Executive Director, Campus Energy, Utilities, and Operations. The Executive Director will provide strategic leadership, coordination, and administrative oversight while contributing guidance and expertise on energy and utility matters for the University of Washington.

Campus Energy, Utilities & Operations is responsible for optimizing the University’s energy strategy, operating and maintaining  the central steam heat generating plant, two central process cooling water plants, two emergency power generation facilities, electrical power and steam distribution utility systems, life safety systems, building environmental control systems, and emergency maintenance response for the central campus and medical center. It is an organization of approximately 120 FTE and has an annual operating budget of $25 million and annual utility purchases of $45 million. With 27 million square feet and over 500 buildings, the UW campuses includes historical and valuable facilities that have a replacement value of approximately $5.5 billion.

The newly created role of Executive Director (ED) is a highly visible and strategic position which will be charged with collaborating closely with University leaders to create and execute a transformative utilities recapitalization plan that will be forward-thinking, fiscally sound, and capable of delivering a legacy of reliable energy efficiency that will last into the next century. Reporting to the Vice President of UW Facilities, the ED will formulate and lead UW’s effort to increase sustainable energy production and reduce the university’s overall carbon footprint. Part of this effort will include recapitalizing UW’s existing central steam powerplant by investing in cutting-edge energy technologies that will transform how energy is produced at UW.

This initiative will provide a highly unique opportunity for the ED to define UW’s future energy production and its financing. This will require creating a technical plan and, in collaboration with a number of UW finance colleagues, a sustainable financial plan for a new utility system.

The successful candidate will be a collaborative and creative leader who is an accomplished senior manager committed to building a team-oriented organizational culture; a confident strategic thinker who is able to provide clear direction; customer-focused; innovative; focused on continuous improvement; committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace; excellent communicator; and possessed of integrity, openness, sound judgment, humility and a commitment to transparency.

A Bachelor’s degree in energy/utilities engineering or a related field and a minimum of ten years’ increasingly responsible management experience of a large organization responsible for the engineering, operations, and maintenance of complex facilities in required. In addition, the ED will bring:

  • In-depth knowledge of the energy market, energy management systems, and financing structures for energy investments.
  • Experience with and specific knowledge of the operation of steam and power generation, and distribution utilities and facilities.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills, including the ability to communicate effectively and persuasively with a variety of campus and community colleagues.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills. Able to analyze complex information, define problems, and develop and implement creative, cost-effective solutions. Experience in systems development, data analysis, customer service program development and management, and fiscal planning.
  • Demonstrated experience with complex stakeholder and change management.
  • Strong personnel management experience, including a history of success with diversity, equity, and inclusion, with coaching and mentoring, team building, leading conflict resolution, and initiating and monitoring corrective action. A history of success managing in a unionized environment is highly preferred.
  • The University of Washington is one of the nation’s most distinguished educational and research institutions. Ranked in the world’s top 15 universities in measures that include US News & World Report and The Academic Ranking of World Universities, the UW is one of the oldest state-supported institutions of higher education on the Pacific coast. Together, the University’s three campuses in Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell anchor the Puget Sound region and are firmly established as the pinnacle of the higher education system in Washington State. All three campuses benefit from the region’s Pacific Rim location, from the growth of the Pacific Northwest, and from the growth and dynamism of Seattle.


    The University of Washington has retained Opus Partners to support this recruitment. Jim Hess, Partner and Katie Dean, Associate Partner are leading the search. For more information or to apply (in confidence), please contact Katie at katie.dean@opuspartners.net

    The University of Washington is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer.

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