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Director of Facilities

  • Requisition no: 516164
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • School/Department: Earth Institute
  • Grade: Grade 16
  • Categories: Facilities/Maint/Trades/RealEs
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range: Salary commensurate with experience

Position Summary

The Director of Facilities will be a critical member of the Senior Associate Dean’s leadership team tasked with creating, realizing, and maintaining the physical spaces for the Climate School.  This position reports directly to the Vice Dean for Finance and Administration and the co-founding Dean of the Columbia Climate School.  This position will supervise all facilities operations and staff for the Climate School.  Currently, the Climate School encompasses space on Morningside Campus and the Lamont Campus where the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a world class campus and leader in the Earth Sciences is located in Palisades, NY. As a ‘school like no other’ the Climate School will also look to redesign and revitalize existing facilities as well as secure new facilities as the school expands.

The Director will be a self-starter with impeccable integrity and an extraordinary work ethic. The position requires an open, optimistic and collaborative management style coupled with the ability and willingness to act decisively. In addition, the Director will have an enthusiastic commitment to the importance of building and sustaining a diverse, just, inclusive, and equitable environment.

The Director of Facilities is responsible for setting strategies, developing standards, process improvements, and overseeing all facilities maintenance operations; ensuring that repairs, space planning, and utilization changes, and construction or renovation activities are within established budgets and meet the strategic needs of the organization. The role is responsible for the Columbia Climate School’s maintenance activities for buildings, grounds, and utility systems including carpentry, painting, grounds and building maintenance, building service, electrical and PHVAC activities. The Director will be responsible for all real estate activities for the Climate School including the management of leases and space across multiple campuses.  The Director of Facilities is responsible for all operations associated with ensuring compliance with OSHA and related regulations, as well as with organizational safety regulations.


  • Oversees and leads all aspects of facilities management.
  • Establishes organizational facilities maintenance policies and sets standards governing design and construction, repair, space planning, and utilization and preventative maintenance of buildings and grounds.
  • Controls expense, monthly and capital budgets for the Facilities department.
  • Reviews and approves all plans and specifications for capital projects.
  • Prepares budgeting and capital equipment budget development.
  • Communicates and interacts with Columbia officers, the Director of LDEO, division directors, program directors, systems managers, and supervisors to coordinate Facilities activities.
  • Provides strategic decision-making based on meetings with vendors and sales representatives.
  •  Develops and implements all programs and policies meant to mitigate the organizational impact on the environment or to protect employees from health and safety risks found in the organization.
  • Oversees assessment of facility location, site acquisition, leasing of sites, land and facilities management, and site or facilities disposal. Monitors existing real estate values.
  • Inspects new properties to ensure they meet organizational expectations and negotiates contract terms as needed upon purchase or lease agreement.
  • Sets the overall strategic direction for the safety and security department, developing and enforcing safety/security priorities.
  • Develops and sustains a strategy to improve relationships, enhance operational flexibility and improve efficiencies.
  • Manages the work of technical maintenance staff, contractors, or subcontractors.
  • Plans, directs, and staffs all maintenance activities in a cost-effective manner and assures operational procedures and quality of products and services meet current federal, state, and local ordinances.
  • Manages the work order system and ensures timely completion of all assignments and preventative maintenance schedules.
  • Plans, assigns, and evaluates work and performance of facilities staff.
  • Leads the hiring and performance review processes for Facilities areas.
  • Maintains current knowledge of industry trends through relevant certifications and designations, attending seminars, participating in industry-appropriate associations and symposiums, and staying abreast of recent publications, methodology, and other developments.
  • Accountable for staff members’ progression licensing requirements and apprentice programs.
  • Adheres to ethical standards and complies with the laws and regulations applicable to the job function.
  • Performs other duties and special projects as assigned or requested.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's Degree required; relevant advanced degree strongly desirable.
  • A minimum of 8 years of progressively responsible experience in one of the following is required: management of physical plant operations and maintenance; institutional project management; or education planning/design.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience creating innovative systems and process to effectively manage facilities.
  • Demonstrated ability to partner with leadership to envision and design space improvements based on organizational needs and strategic goals.
  • Proven experience leading technology focused solutions to facilities problems.
  • Strong project management, writing and editing, analytical, and interpersonal communication skills required.
  • Demonstrated organizational and supervisory experience essential. 

Other Requirements

  • Must possess strong leadership and management skills, and demonstrate an ability to lead, manage and balance competing tasks, priorities and deadlines, in addition to completing all assigned projects on time and within budget while maintaining the college's commitment to exceptional quality.
  • Demonstrated experience in contract negotiation for facilities-related services. 
  • Knowledge of Auto CAD.
  • Working knowledge of technical operations and personnel to resolve problems, train and motivate
  • Proficiency with all Microsoft Office applications.
  • Current knowledge of state-of-the-art resources, enough to propose logical and reasonable changes in the current system and propose new systems as applicable.
  • Ability to function independently and adapt to changing priorities without adversely affecting productivity.

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer - Race / Gender / Disability / Veteran

The Lamont campus values diversity and inclusion, and welcomes applications from members of underrepresented minority groups.

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

Applications open: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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