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Director of Facilities

Wildlife Conservation Society: New York Aquarium
Brooklyn, United States Posted: November 03, 2023

WCS stands for wildlife and wild places. As the world’s premier wildlife conservation organization, WCS has a long track record of achieving innovative, impactful results at scale. We run field programs spanning 60 countries and the entire ocean. We build on a unique foundation: Our reach is global; we discover through best-in-class science; we protect through work on the ground with local and indigenous people; we inspire through our world-class zoos, aquarium, and education programs; and we leverage our resources through partnerships and powerful policy influence. Our more than 4,000 diverse, passionately committed team members in New York City and worldwide work collectively to achieve our conservation mission.

Position Objectives:

Oversee optimal stewardship of the NYA campus, supporting excellence in visitor experience, animal wellbeing, staff experience, and asset management. Develop, adapt, and execute comprehensive short- and long-term maintenance and improvement plans for buildings, infrastructure, equipment, animal life support systems, exhibits, animal holding areas, office spaces, classrooms, public pathways, and grounds. Develop and support team culture founded in appropriate transparency, open knowledge management, and ongoing improvement and learning.

Principal Responsibilities:
  • Ensure the Facilities team works at or toward operational best practices for preventive maintenance, repairs, and improvements to campus buildings and grounds, equipment, exhibits, and animal life support systems.
  • Foster a culture founded in appropriate transparency, open knowledge management, ongoing improvement and learning that supports staff, visitors, and animal safety, regulatory compliance, and energy-efficient best practices.
  • Ensure optimal performance of animal life support systems in collaboration with animal management teams, ensuring stable environments for animals with minimal emergency response.
  • Work with the Facilities team to create prioritized plans to address deferred maintenance and capital needs while maintaining or improving current and future preventive maintenance and equipment replacement.
  • Work with multiple stakeholders to prioritize capital projects and create clear written justifications and project plans to facilitate integrated planning and identification of funding sources.
  • Ensure that NYA adheres to all applicable local and national agency requirements, including, but not limited to, New York City, the State of New York, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, United States Department of Agriculture; if gaps are identified, work with relevant partners to identify plans to bring NYA into compliance
  • In collaboration with the NYA Director of Aquatic Health and Director of Animal
  • Operations, manage Facilities’ activities to support animal safety practices and animal health and welfare programs.
  • Work with the WCS Environmental Compliance Specialist to maintain adherence to environmental regulations, with a particular focus on Aquarium Conservation
  • Partnership and NYC carbon emission reduction goals.
  • Represent NYA at NYC agency meetings including, but not limited to, the Fire Department of New York, Department of Health, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Design and Construction, and Department of Buildings.
  • Collaborate with other WCS business units, such as finance, philanthropy, government affairs, and planning and design, to develop and execute city-funded projects to ensure adherence to funding requirements and reporting. Ensure general and specific before and during projects.
  • In collaboration with the WCS Safety Director, NYA Director of Park Services, and Director of Animal Operations, manage Facilities’ activities in support of campus staff, volunteers, visitors, and guest safety programs and practices.
  • Periodically assess and make recommendations for revisions to NYA standards across all departments.
  • In conjunction with the WCS Safety Director and NYA Director of Park Services, ensure relevant drills and safety training are conducted, specifically emphasizing Association of Zoos and Aquariums and Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.
  • Manage facility-wide severe weather protocols, including campus-wide flood control deployment and snow removal procedures.
  • Periodically assess and make recommendations for revisions to severe weather protocols.
  • Provide leadership and coaching in management, supervision, evaluation, recruitment, and training/development of Facilities managers and staff.
  • Ensure that Facilities staff operate and comply with all WCS policies and procedures.
  • Ensure compliance with the WCS collective bargaining agreement with DC-37, including articulating and managing to consistent practices within the team, adhering to all rules and regulations related to interactions between and among WCS management, union members, and DC-37 representatives; apply disciplinary action when needed, and proactively work with Human Resources partners on union-related matters.
  • Serve as a management representative in Union collective bargaining negotiations, labor/management meetings, and disciplinary processes in conjunction with and supported by WCS representatives.
  • Communicate and coordinate activities with other NYA departments and the other four WCS parks as necessary, including writing recommendations and project plans to support advancing work and capital projects and cultivating consensus among stakeholders to set priorities for the campus.
  • Oversee the development of Facilities’ departmental operating and capital budgets.
  • Submit draft budgets to the NYA Director for approval. Work with direct reports to manage their respective operations within approved budgets and with the Finance team to identify budget risks or opportunities throughout the year.
  • Assess and proactively make and/or implement recommendations to improve operations efficiency, staffing, and cost savings.
  • Provide all necessary written and verbal reports, updates, and analyses timely to the NYA Director as required.
  • Provide direction and supervision to NYA contractors, technicians, and vendors engaged in facilities-related work.
  • Interact with the public, if the circumstance arises, to provide information on NYA’s animal collection, either through personal knowledge or by referring the question to an appropriate NYA colleague.
  • At the discretion and request of the NYA Director, conduct V.I.P. tours of the facility.
  • This position is safety sensitive and essential.
  • Respond to or monitor various emergencies (severe weather, equipment failures, etc.) outside regular business hours and within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Communicate with NYA teams in the field as required to ensure predictable and judicious protection of animals, staff, visitors, and assets.
  • Bachelor’s degree in construction, engineering, architecture, facilities management, or related field.
  • Five years’ experience managing a complex facility or equivalent project management.
  • Aptitude to lead, build, and coach multiple activities simultaneously, provide supervision and guidance, and identify and implement ongoing changes to improve operations.
  • Ability to prioritize projects and work assignments and to collaborate with other department stakeholders in carrying out the principal functions of the Facilities team.
  • Essential familiarity with aquatic animal Life Support Systems (LSS), building Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning systems (HVAC), and Building Management Systems (BMS).
  • Extensive exposure to various building trades and familiarity with all applicable building and life safety codes.
  • Exceptional written, verbal, and visual communication and leadership skills
  • Adeptness at responding to occasional shifting and undefined situations with composure, professionalism, and resolve.
  • Competency in computer skills, including email, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and project management/CPM. (Note: WCS uses Microsoft Office Suite.)
  • Experience with computer-aided drafting and design (e.g., AutoCAD, Revit, Sketch-Up) and facilities maintenance software (e.g., Manager Plus) preferred.
  • Must possess a valid NV, NJ, or CT driver’s license.
Physical Requirements: 
  • The position requires work in office environments and outdoor work in all weather conditions.
  • Tasks require manual dexterity (e.g., computer keyboard, copier, mobile radios).
  • Some tasks require kneeling, bending, navigating uneven terrain, and moderate lifting up to 50 pounds.

WCS is an equal-opportunity employer dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value. EOE/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled

Note: The salary offer will reflect the selected candidate’s individual experiences, skills and qualifications, internal equity, work location and country of work.


Benefits and Perks: 27 Vacation Days, 13 Holidays, 12 Paid-Time-Off, Medical, Dental, Vision, 401K, $3200 tuition reimbursement, access to parks, zoos, and aquarium, discounts on merchandise and food, plus much more…


$108,500 – $155,000

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