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Director, Site Protection

  • Industry: Facilities Management
  • Location: Princeton, New Jersey
  • Client: Institution - Higher Education
  • Search ID: 17-0302-11

Helbling is representing Princeton University in conducting an executive search to secure a Director, Site Protection (Director). This role is under the direction of the Assistant Vice President of Operations and works collaboratively with other university departments. The Director leads, manages, plans, and organizes the Site Protection work group within Facilities Operations, which is tasked with the operation and management of critical life safety and security systems and infrastructure that indirectly supports all university departments and programs, and directly supports and collaborates with first responder units. A primary collaborator and client is the Department of Public Safety, which has responsibility for the safety and security of people and university property.

At a strategic level, this position will play a role in university decisions relating to life safety and security systems by gathering relevant information, applying the university’s tolerance for risk, and evaluating appropriate levels of security versus investment to produce recommendations to decision makers. The position will typically oversee as many as twenty-five (25) projects/initiatives at one time, with a total potential dollar value of potentially $5M over a multi-year period.

At the operational level, the Director oversees all functional and technological aspects of the department’s life safety and security systems, including fire alarm, fire suppression, access control, and video camera systems. The Director develops and implements procedures to ensure safety and security systems function properly, and are properly maintained, repaired, inspected, tested, and documented. The annual operating budget is $ 4M. 

Responsibilities include:

Leadership-Management-Relationship with Superiors

(Time on task is approximately 33%)

  • Provides strategic-level direction, focus, guidance, support, prioritization, and oversight for managerial and supervisory staff; develops and implements programs, processes and procedures that result in high levels of individual and organizational performance and effectiveness.
  • Provides escalation of significant/important issues when appropriate; supports unit, departmental, and institutional goals.
  • Manages budgets for operations and projects.
  • Tracks work requests using computerized maintenance-management system.
  • Develops key performance indicators and prepares periodic reports detailing performance of the work unit. 
  • Promotes a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Security System Stewardship

(Time on task is approximately 33%)  

  • Produces recommendations about life safety and security systems and technology to assist decision-makers with security-related decisions: gathers relevant information about systems; weighs cost versus benefits; applies risk tolerance; and develops, oversees, maintains and manages the security system design standards for campus.
  • Plays a prominent role on a cross-university security systems governance committee that reviews programming and product selections for construction projects.
  • Oversees technical review of security system design documents.
  • Oversees commissioning and acceptance of new security systems.
  • Works collaboratively with key stakeholders (e.g., Department of Public Safety, Office of Information Technology, Office of Design and Construction, etc.) to ensure their input is fully considered and incorporated into systems where feasible.
  • Keeps key stakeholders informed about strategic planning efforts, system upgrades, and replacements.
  • Works through site protection staff to ensure that all systems are properly maintained, repaired, and functional.

Life Safety System Stewardship

(Time on task is approximately 20%)  

  • Oversees and manages all life safety systems, including fire alarm and fire suppression systems.
  • Oversees technical review of construction project design documents, and commissioning and acceptance of new life safety systems.
  • Works collaboratively with key stakeholders (e.g., University Fire Marshal, Department of Public Safety, Environmental Health & Safety, Office of Information Technology, etc.) to ensure their input is fully considered and incorporated into projects where feasible.
  • Working through subordinate staff, ensures that all systems are properly inspected, tested, maintained, repaired, and functional.

Ensure Regulatory Compliance

(Time on task is approximately 9%)

  • Ensures all life safety and security systems are inspected, tested, and maintained in accordance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws, regulations, and standards.
  • Ensures all testing, inspection, and repair documentation meets all requirements of the governing authority.

Project Management

Time on task is approximately 5%)

  • Researches, suggests, and manages new projects to replace, upgrade, or install new life safety and security systems.
  • Responsible for the use and application of technology into daily operations, such as computerized maintenance-management systems, mobile platform inspection and work order systems.
  • Reviews and implements new technology where such systems are in the best interests of Princeton University.
  • Utilizes project management best practices to identify, review, track, and control project milestones, deliverables, and communications.
  • Bachelor’s degree. Degree in Business or Engineering is preferred.
  • Minimum of seven (7) years’ verifiable work experience installing, maintaining, and repairing life safety and security systems in a commercial, industrial, or institutional organization with interdependent systems.
  • Strong functional knowledge of both life safety and security systems, including fire alarm, fire suppression, access control, video camera, and security systems; and working knowledge of life safety codes.
  • Thorough knowledge of methods associated with maintenance, repair, and operation of all systems noted above; and thorough knowledge of safety regulations and safe work practices.
  • Ability to read, interpret, and understand drawings, specifications, sequences of operation, control drawings, and other technical data.
  • Ability to understand and analyze the technical complexities of life safety and security systems at a technical level.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, to a diverse audience, and possess a knowledge of appropriate escalation protocols and political acumen.
  • Understanding of modern customer service theories, practices, and methods, and how to apply them.
  • Proven project management skills and track record of managing large-scale, inter-departmental projects.
  • Managerial Complexity - Ability to successfully handle multiple tasks at once, and be able to determine appropriate priorities; must be able to make independent interpretations and make appropriate decisions that are in the best interest of the organization and that are consistent with the objectives of senior management.
  • Computer skills with proficiency in the use of business application software.
  • Familiar with the use of a computerized maintenance-management software programs.
  • After-Hours Emergency Response – must be able to respond to after normal business hour emergencies and incidents as needed, and on short notice.
  • Must be able to function in an essential personnel role, which may include an extended on-campus presence during local, regional, national emergencies.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and pass a background check.

Search Consultant: Ryan Pugh

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