The School Construction Authority

Vice President, Architecture and Engineering

To Apply

The School Construction Authority has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Jack Lusk, Managing Partner
Anne McCarthy, Senior Director and COO
Harris Rand Lusk
122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY 10168


Please include the words “School Construction Authority VP-A&E” in the subject line of your e-mailed application.

The New York City School Construction Authority, the well-respected public entity responsible for the design, construction and renovation of the more than 1,800 public schools, in 1,400 school buildings in New York City, is seeking a smart and engaged professional to join SCA’s team as its next Vice President, Architecture and Engineering.

The NYC School Construction Authority’s (SCA) mission is to design and construct safe, attractive and environmentally sound public schools for children throughout New York City. Established by the State legislature in the late 1980’s to address the problems of New York City’s aging public schools, most of which were built before 1949,  SCA was charged with building new schools as well as managing the design, construction and renovation at existing public schools  Since 2002, when the legislature changed the governance of the Board of Education, the oversight and management of the Department of Education’s capital program was consolidated under the SCA.  SCA is now solely responsible for the real estate, planning and budgeting as well as the design and construction of new schools and the capital improvements in existing schools.  The Agency is dedicated to building and modernizing schools in a responsible, cost-effective manner while achieving the highest standards of excellence in safety, quality and integrity.

New York City has more than one million students attending public school in 1,400 public school buildings, 200 of which are more than 100 years old.  On July 1 of this year, the SCA will begin implementation of a new five-year, $17 billion Capital Plan for fiscal years 2020-24.   Approximately one-half of the $17 billion Capital Plan is for the design and construction of new schools or additions providing 57,000 new seats, while the other half of the $17 billion is devoted to capital improvements at existing schools.

The Architecture and Engineering Department:
The Architecture and Engineering department (A&E), which includes approximately 230 technical staff, is responsible for the Scope and Design of all Capital Improvement and New School projects funded in the Five-Year Capital Plan.  A&E also provides design services during construction for about $2 billion in annual construction placement.  In support of these efforts, the A&E Department develops and maintains technical design and sustainability standards used on all SCA projects, maintains an archival database of plans for the 1,400 public school buildings, and manages the Public Art for Public Schools Program. The department is comprised of four Studios: In-House Design; Design Consultant Management; Technical Standards & Support; and Operations.   The heads of the four studios have each been at the SCA for approximately 30 years. 

The Position:
The Vice President, Architecture and Engineering reports to the Executive Vice President and is responsible for the Authority’s architectural and engineering design program. The Vice President oversees the operations of A&E. As a member of the Executive Committee, the Vice President participates in the development, implementation and maintenance of policies, procedures and programs that impact various SCA divisions; regularly participates in meetings chaired by the President/CEO and the Executive Vice President, as well as Trustee meetings where policy is discussed and developed. The Vice President manages and directs SCA architectural and engineering operations to ensure that all projects are designed and delivered within SCA standards of quality and established budgets and timeframe.

The Vice President will be a highly intelligent, sophisticated and knowledgeable professional with significant experience managing large design staff in a public environment. He or she must be capable of integrating smoothly into SCA’s business culture and will have strong interpersonal skills, excellent written communication and verbal presentation skills, a hands-on management style, and the ability to address and solve problems or issues as they arise. In addition, he or she should be diplomatic, of the highest integrity, and possess sound judgment as well as a sense of humor.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Oversees:
    • An in-house team of 230 technical staff
    • Design consultants from 145 firms, working under 290 contracts, with an annual expenditure of $105 million
    • A portfolio of more than 400 active projects at any one time
  • Participates in the development of human resources and collective bargaining strategies as they relate to architecture and engineering issues; will need to form a positive, collaborative working relationship with union leadership
  • Serves as a member of the SCA management team in collective bargaining
  • Establishes policies and procedures relating to architectural and engineering design standards of school construction projects and for project scoping strategies
    • Meets deadlines necessary to achieve fiscal year capital-commitment targets
    • Achieves energy and greenhouse-gas reduction requirements in existing laws, regulations and standards, as well as adapts to future legislation
    • Increases school accessibility and compliance with ADA requirements
  • Initiates and maintains effective inter-organizational relationships at the state and city level, both executive and legislative, to ensure that effective advocacy occurs and to maximize support for SCA projects
  • Determines the best way to distribute the design work between the in-house design studio and the consultant design group
  • Fosters a greater sense of project/design ownership among the staff who manage consultants
  • Promotes a culture of achieving cost efficiencies, tight schedules and quality of work
  • Plans, assigns, directs, monitors, reviews and evaluates the work of the:
    • Senior Director of the In-House Design Studio,
    • Senior Director of the Design Consultant Management Studio,
    • Senior Director of the Technical Standards & Support Studio, and
    • Director of the Operations Studio
  • Makes recommendations regarding recruitment, hiring, promotion, reassignment, and discipline.
  • Develops succession plans to ensure smooth transition of work as senior management leaves


  • Certified NYS Professional Engineer or Registered Architect.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in engineering, architecture, construction management or related discipline, or equivalent work experience required. Advanced degree preferred.
  • Minimum of fourteen (14) years of full time diverse architectural or engineering experience in the design of major construction projects of the size and complexity of school facilities including seven (7) years in a management or executive capacity.
  • Must be able to demonstrate experience with building design, development, construction and project management processes and procedures, including design/building contracting in a public environment.
  • Must demonstrate ability to develop and maintain collegial and professional relationships with co-workers and colleagues across a variety of state and local agencies as well as Authority departments.
  • Must have exemplary written and verbal communication skills as well as excellent negotiation skills.
  • Must be able to apply time management principles to complete multiple projects with competing priorities and deadlines with an ability to adapt to demands of changing workloads.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop, manage and maintain large-scale construction budgets and report regularly to the Executive Vice President and President.
  • Thorough knowledge of contract administration is required.
  • Must possess a strong working knowledge of New York City building practices, regulations and all applicable laws including the New York City Building Code, the New York City Fire Code, the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (and related local enactments).
  • Must demonstrate impeccable ethical standards with a history of maintaining the highest levels of integrity and professionalism.

Compensation is commensurate with experience. For more information about the School Construction Authority, please visit their website at www.nycsca.org.

The School Construction Authority is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168