Capital Planning and Project Management VP Will Depart

Mark R. Johnson, vice president for Harvard capital planning and project management, will step down down from his position at the end of the October to become director of development for real estate company Divco West.

University Executive Vice President Katie N. Lapp, who sent an email to the Harvard’s central administration employees, lauded Johnson for his five-year tenure. Johnson could not be reached for comment.

Johnson first came to Harvard in 2002 to serve as a senior construction project manager at Harvard Business School. In 2005, he took on the role of director of major capital projects and physical planning at Harvard Law School, overseeing the construction of the Wasserstein Hall, Caspersen Student Center, Clinical Wing.

Throughout Johnson’s tenure, Harvard underwent frequent and major construction. In 2012, he oversaw the Science Center Plaza’s renovation as part of the Harvard’s Common Spaces program. More recently, Johnson played a part in the designs of the Smith Campus Center, which will feature the renovation and addition of common spaces on the first, second, and 10th floors. After two hearings this summer, the University is still awaiting final approval of the plans from the Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeal.

Smith Campus Center, Second Floor
A rendering of preliminary plans for the second floor of the Smith Campus Center highlights common spaces, trees, and a fireplace. Mark R. Johnson, vice president for Harvard capital planning and project management, played a part in the campus center building's designs.

As the Harvard has pursued massive construction in Allston, Johnson assisted in developing the University’s 10-year Allston Institutional Master Plan.


Closer to Cambridge, he oversaw the nearly $250 million and six-year renovation of the Harvard Art Museums that concluded with their grand opening last November.

At the College, Johnson helped plan the more than $1 billion House renewal project, which is funded in part by Harvard’s $6.5 billion capital campaign. The campaign has surpassed its $6 billion mark, with House renewal lagging behind many other Faculty of Arts and Sciences priorities. The renovations completed so far have drawn some criticism for their move toward hall common rooms and bathrooms at the expense of private space.

Quincy’s Stone Hall was the first residence renovated, opening in 2013, followed by Leverett’s Mckinlock Hall in 2014 and Dunster House, which reopened to residents this year. Winthrop House will undergo renovation starting this summer, followed by Lowell in 2017-2018.

—Staff writer Theodore R. Delwiche can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @trdelwic.