Vice President AKU Campus Planning & Development


Aga Khan University


Karachi, Pakistan


The Aga Khan University is seeking a Vice President AKU Campus Planning & Development. 

Chartered in 1983, Aga Khan University (AKU) (www.aku.edu) is a private, autonomous and self-governing international university, with 13 teaching sites in 6 countries over three continents. An integral part of the Aga Khan Development Network, AKU provides higher education in several disciplines, carries out research pertinent to the countries in which it exists, and operates 7 hospitals (soon 8) and over 325 outreach clinics, all at international standards. AKU has campuses, programmes and/or teaching hospitals in Afghanistan, Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda and the United Kingdom. It has 2,500 students and 15,000 staff. The University is both a model of academic excellence and an agent of social change. As an international institution, AKU operates on the core principles of quality, relevance, impact and access. 


Under the corporate governance of Board of Trustees and Portfolio Governance (Project Planning and Implementation Committee - PPIC), you will be required to establish a governance framework for a portfolio of projects and programmes through Project Boards which monitor detailed operational and business drivers through a Project Delivery Team (Project Sponsor / Executive, Senior User Representative, and Project Director). 

The governance framework will include the following five key portfolio components:

  • AKU Projects Monitoring Committee (AKU PMC – monitoring of portfolio governance)
  • Physical Plant & Infrastructure Committee (PPIC – approvals of portfolio governance)
  • Academic & Student Affairs Committee
  • Heath Service Committee
  • Finance Committee
You will provide guardianship of AKU architectural vision and themes, architectural standards and campus master plans across all regions and campuses with focused reviews of project approval gateways and various business cases. You will lead the capital renewal plans for all university buildings and infrastructure (portfolio exceeding > $50M per annum) and handle commissioning for new construction programs.
You will also provide strategic planning support to University / campus management for all technical activities of the facilities that helps in smooth functioning of overall operations.  This is an AKU-wide global role that includes monitoring of various functions that includes:

  • Project and Construction Management
  • Project  Controls
  • Design and Engineering
  • Procurement of works and services
  • Project Finance 
You will partner with the various University departments, academic units, administrative departments, and various hospital functions. Build and maintain working relationships with team members, vendors, and other departments involved in the process. You will coordinate, direct, supervise, and monitor the functions of a global team in a high quality, efficient, and cost effective manner in accordance with the institutions’ policies and regulations.

You will play an integral role in the success of the projects’ from inception to post implementation that will have a strategic impact on the core operations and processes of the organization. 

Specifically, you will be responsible for:

  • Provides leadership and direction ensuring that operational, professional and technical activities are performed consistently in cohort with organization’s vision, division’s mission, its goals and objectives;
  • In collaboration with leadership, develops implements and revises the strategic plan for Campus planning and development in the regions’ where we operate; ensuring consistency with the regional strategic plan.
  • Master planning of facilities and utilities and management of facilities related issues of existing and future facilities. Develop cost and schedule information for new facilities for strategic planning purposes. 
  • Identification of problems and taking the lead in resolving them. Chairing Portfolio level meetings and representation of the team on other committees, especially the University Steering Committee, FAS and the Board Oversight Committee.
  • Support the strategic, long-term development goals of the institution by truly partnering with development leaders to re-engineer core business processes to improve efficiencies.
  • Build strategic relationships with key stakeholders globally and locally. Provide full support to other AKDN partners as and when required. Proactively collaborate with regional leaders to ensure effective cross-functional coordination.
Strategic Planning:
  • Define execution plan for capital construction projects, including budgets, schedules, quality standards and contracting strategies. Participate in and develop information for planning of capital projects.
  • Provide support to ensure that expectations of internal and external customers are met while ensuring compliance with regulatory and quality standards.
  • Review of current processes and systems for further improvements. Implement innovative ideas in order to achieve cost reductions. Also provides direction, consultation and implementation of new programs.
  • Evaluate risk and business trade-offs and make changes to develop the optimal business solutions and results. Take decisions in line with the quality standards, policies and goals.
Portfolio Management:
  • Provide leadership and guidance in Portfolio functions and overall facilitation for prioritizing and advocating initiatives and implementation of systems and processes that support division’s philosophy. Determine and design the analytical framework for projects to include evaluation mechanisms for project outcomes and also provide routine updates to project sponsors and stakeholders.
  • Work with developers during due diligence and throughout the entitlement process; review pricing, concept drawings, preliminary and final drawings.  Produce permitting requirements and timing.
Workforce Development:
  • Manage and develop planning staff, work in a collegial and effective team with other directors and departmental colleagues.
  • Develop performance measurement tools and metrics, specific job descriptions, management’s expectations, professional development plans, and communication protocols that foster a coordinated, detail-oriented, highly-visible, reliable organization that partners dynamically with other organizations, as well as with tenants and outside third parties, regulatory agencies, consultants, and contractors.
  • Establishes selection criteria for independent consultants and contractors; participates in selection of the consulting team in collaboration with the technical teams.
  • Develop performance measurement tools and metrics, specific job descriptions, management’s expectations, professional development plans, and communication protocols that foster a coordinated, detail-oriented, highly-visible, reliable organization that partners dynamically with other organizations, as well as with tenants and outside third parties, regulatory agencies, consultants, and contractors.
 Best Practices:
  • Responsible for understanding the campuses’ infrastructure, architectural needs to align with best practice models, ensuring integrity throughout.
  • Identify the organization’s innovative thinkers, partner with them on high-value, high-impact initiatives by showcasing successful projects to the rest of the user community.
  • Maintains knowledge of current trends and advancements in the delivery of health care as they relate to facilities planning and management and carries out research in support of these initiatives.
Environmental Health and Safety:
  • Develops and recommends planning guidelines and procedures for the campus environmental health and safety programs; oversees campus-wide safety training programs.
  • Establishes and monitors safety procedures and training for all employees including the management of the hazardous materials program; consistently follows and enforces safety practices in compliance with rules and regulations established by the university, as well as state and federal agencies.


  • Master's / Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or related field preferably in Civil, Mechanical or Electrical from a recognized University.
  • Held a senior leadership position within a complex business that has multiple business streams. Played an important role either as the head of one of the streams or as the overall leader, in decision making and allocation of resource across the businesses.
  • Strong entrepreneurial background, business leader with proven track record of achieving results and development of people.
  • Proven leadership experience in developing and managing a staff of highly trained planners/project managers, in a team process with clients and technical consulting resources
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in strategic planning on both micro- and macro-level projects. A track record of evaluating organizational structures, workflows and systems to optimize performance. Strong experience and knowledge of asset information management systems.
  • Demonstrated success in leading transformational cost rationalization, energy cost reduction, and outsourcing strategies deploying integrated vendor management. Validated experience in transforming, consolidating, and streamlining corporate organizations and processes.
  • Commitment to diversity and serving the needs of a diverse community. Ability to work with cross disciplinary and cross cultural teams both in a team setting and independently. 
  • Analytical and focused thinking with clearly defined and establish standards by understanding the implications and its impact. 
  • Entrepreneurial drive with ability to work in dynamic and unpredictable environment. 
  • Conduct on-going risk analysis, looking ahead for contingent liabilities and opportunities and astutely identifying the risks involved. Proactive thinking is essential.
  • Experience and ability to lead people and companies with clear targets and within a complex and process-oriented matrix organization.
  • Highly analytical; financially astute; quantitatively capable, with a mastery of design and construction-related decision-making tools, concepts, techniques, and metrics at the project, program, and portfolio levels.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and especially strong facilitation and presentation skills with the ability to describe complex ideas in clear and meaningful forms and to present data and information to various audiences.
  • Advocates and commits to on-going training and development to foster a learning culture within the department.
  • A passion and professional affinity with an organization committed to an enterprise-wide sustainability ethic.
  • Thinks in new ways about problems and issues. Champions creativity through personal example and develops these qualities across the organization.

To Apply

​Please send your resume at human.resources@aku.edu and mark the subject with position number "10006654".

Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

Applications should be submitted latest by March 8, 2019