Director, Real Estate

Brown University

Job Description:

The Director of Real Estate at Brown is a strategic leadership position responsible for overseeing all aspects of the University real estate operations in support of the University’s mission. The Director leads the acquisition, development, disposal and management of the university’s real estate assets. Reporting to the Vice President, Business Affairs, Auxiliary Services, and Real Estate, this role involves working closely with University leadership, departments, and external stakeholders to optimize the use of real estate in support of the institution’s mission, vision, and strategic objectives.

The Director will supervise two Assistant Directors, with a total staff of ~5.5 FTE.  The total budget under management is approximately $15M (expense).  Total portfolio consists of approximately twenty owned and leased commercial buildings; over twenty residential buildings with over four hundred beds of housing for students, faculty, visiting scholars, and staff.

Major Responsibilities:

Strategic Planning & Transaction Management:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive real estate strategy aligned with the University’s mission, goals, and growth plans and in concert with the University’s institutional master plan.
  • Identify and prioritize opportunities for real estate acquisitions, dispositions, and development projects to support academic, research, and administrative needs.
  • Negotiate business terms for all real estate transactions with input and advice from the Vice President and the University’s Real Estate Subcommittee.
  • Conduct market due diligence to assess the fair market value of the real estate being marketed for sale or lease. Manage brokers, appraisers, and other consultants.
  • Analyze and evaluate potential tenants for vacant space based upon type, quality, compatibility and financial strength.
  • In support of the Office of Planned Giving, evaluate potential gift properties and then oversee the disposal of gift properties where applicable.

Property / Project Management:

  • Oversee the management of the University’s real estate portfolio, including leased properties, owned assets, and land holdings.
  • Ensure that properties are maintained, renovated, and upgraded as needed to meet the evolving needs of the University community.
  • Working with others, including Facilities Management Design & Construction Staff, oversee the renovation of space for new tenants and when Brown occupies leased space off campus.
  • Work with the Director of Finance and Auxiliary Services with regard to lease administration and ensure that lease terms are followed and enforced.

Financial Management & Analysis:

  • Follow processes for financial controls, operations reporting and budgeting as established by the Director, Finance & Auxiliary Services, Business Affairs, Auxiliary Services, and Real Estate.,
  • Develop and manage the real estate budget, including revenue projections, operating expenses, and capital expenditures.
  • Maximize the financial performance of real estate assets through effective leasing strategies, revenue optimization, and cost control measures.
  • Develop financial analysis of transactions and prepare formal transaction analysis for approval by VP for recommended transactions as needed.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance:

  • Ensure compliance with local zoning regulations, environmental laws, building codes, and other legal requirements related to real estate operations.
  • In conjunction with the Office of General Counsel and external counsel, negotiate and execute real estate contracts, and agreements in accordance with university policies and procedures.

Stakeholder / Market Engagement:

  • Collaborate with university departments, faculty, staff, and students to understand their space requirements and support their programmatic needs.
  • Cultivate relationships with external partners, including government agencies, and community organizations, to advance real estate initiatives and partnerships.  Represent the University at public hearings and meetings as needed.
  • Support Brown’s role in the Thayer Street District Management Authority; serve on Board, attend meetings as needed and direct University involvement where appropriate.
  • Develop strong relationships with brokers, appraisers, landlords, tenants, consultants, peers at other institutions and corporations to gather knowledge about real estate activity in Providence, particularly on College Hill, in the Jewelry District and in Downtown.
  • Gather and track information about the sale and lease of property (including residential, commercial, industrial, research, warehouse, etc), including understanding market statistics and trends. Represent Brown at market and industry related events.

Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship:

  • Integrate sustainable design principles and environmental best practices into real estate planning, development, and operations.
  • Explore opportunities to enhance the energy efficiency, resilience, and sustainability of University buildings and infrastructure.

Risk Management:

  • Identify and mitigate risks associated with real estate transactions, such as market fluctuations, legal disputes, and environmental hazards.
  • Implement risk management strategies to protect the University’s interests and minimize exposure to liabilities.

Staff Management:

  • Manage, select, develop, mentor, and train an excellent workforce and foster an environment that values diversity, creativity, and individuality.
  • Create a culture of continuous learning and the development of others to build a high-performing organization and have the ability to attract and retain top talent.
  • Cultivate a positive work environment that fosters team and individual performance while enhancing accountability and an approach to metrics-based decision-making
  • Support the University’s efforts related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Job Qualifications:

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in business or related field required (Master’s / MBA preferred) plus 10+ years’ experience in leading real estate functions within complex organizations; higher education preferred.
  • Experience with an array of real estate functions and transactions, including purchase, sale, lease, development, management of commercial, residential, lab, and retail buildings and land.
  • Experience developing, implementing, and leading a best in class centralized real estate function;
  • Experience in the development and implementation of real estate policies and procedures;
  • Experience in real estate contract negotiation and terminology with broad types of real estate contracts.
  • Experience with programs and practices which advance sustainability goals within the real estate portfolio and in support of the University.
  • Experience engaging with public agencies (City, State, Federal) and entities (community,
  • Experience with managing 3rd party consultants and advisors, including legal, brokerage, environmental, design & construction, property managers, engineers, etc.

Job Competencies:

  • Strong data analytics, quantitative, decision making, and problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to initiate, identify, prioritize, and plan planning activities necessary to meet unit-level and institutional goals;
  • Ability to navigate through a complex organization; knows where to go to get what needed support; politically aware and agile; presents various views and options well;
  • Creative and can manage and promote innovation; is an effective strategist full of ideas and possibilities; has broad interests and knowledge; can both create and bring exciting ideas to market;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills needed to work effectively with faculty, students, staff, external business, and government agencies and to present complex issues to senior management;
  • Poise and professionalism required to serve as University representative for professional, civic, and government organizations;

The salary range for this role is $160,000 to $170,000.  Final salaries are determined by the candidate’s skills, education, and experience as they relate to the position.  Brown University is committed to fair and equitable pay.

Please include a cover letter when submitting your application.

All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Recruiting Start Date:

Job Posting Title:
Director, Real Estate

Business Affairs, Auxiliary Services, and Real Estate

Grade 13

Worker Type:

Worker Sub-Type:

Time Type:
Full time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:

Position Work Location:
Hybrid Eligible

Submission Guidelines:
Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.

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EEO Statement:
Brown University is an E-Verify Employer.

As an EEO/AA employer, Brown University provides equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon a person’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law, and caste, which is protected by our University policies.

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