Harvard University announced today (Oct. 19) that Mark Johnson, the Director of Major Capital Projects and Physical Planning at Harvard Law School, has been named vice president for capital planning and project management. Johnson, a seasoned project manager with more than 20 years of experience in construction and architectural design, has overseen the construction of the Wasserstein Caspersen Clinical building project.

“As our campus continues to evolve, we need a manager who can balance the nature of academia with the practicalities of planning and budgets,” said the University’s Executive Vice President for Administration, Katie Lapp. “Mark’s successes with past projects, outstanding leadership skills, and strategic vision make him the ideal person for this position.”

HLS Dean Martha Minow said: “Mark has been a steady, guiding hand in the evolution of the WCC project, from its earliest inception to its successful rising, now nearing completion. As the University was able to see, he has been invaluable in steering the project smoothly, on time and within budget. I’m delighted to say that he will continue to play an active role in the completion of the building even after he moves from HLS over to the central University.”

Under Johnson’s leadership, the Law School has been able to reduce construction costs for the project while maintaining design excellence, Minow added. He also refined and implemented the School’s campus master plan vision, authored its five-year capital plan, and managed its capital plan approvals process.

Johnson joined the University in 2002 as a senior construction project manager at Harvard Business School (HBS). There, he managed the Baker Library/Bloomberg Center project, completed in 2005, which added meeting facilities, faculty offices, and archival storage for the library’s one-of-a kind-collection of historical business materials. The project was finished on schedule and under budget.

In 2005 he joined Harvard Law School (HLS) as director of major capital projects and physical planning, where he managed the Wasserstein/Caspersen/Clinical project. Slated for completion in 2011, this 570,000 square-foot, LEED Gold-rated complex will add state-of-the-art classrooms, offices, student commons, and underground parking to the Law School campus.

“Since coming to Harvard, I have been able to work on some of the University’s most visible projects,” Johnson said. “I look forward to continuing this work in a broader scope and collaborating with people across the institution to meet the University’s capital planning needs for the future.”

In his new role, Johnson will be responsible for long-term planning of the Allston, Longwood, and Cambridge campuses, charged with providing direction and support for the University’s growth with an eye toward solid planning principles, design standards, programming, and sustainability. He also will develop and implement a University-wide, comprehensive, multiyear capital program and manage all construction projects for Central Administration and, as requested, the Schools.

Said Minow: “Mark is perfectly suited for all these important responsibilities, which will bring his talents to serve the whole university. We are so glad we do not need to say farewell, and we wish him the best in this exciting new role.”

Johnson will report to Lapp and will work closely with the University’s chief financial officer, Dan Shore, and the vice president for campus services, Lisa Hogarty.

Johnson started his professional career at Kieran, Timberlake & Harris, Architects and Planners, and continued at William Rawn Associates, Architects, in Boston, where he was a designer for an award-winning performing arts and student center at Babson College. He also worked as a project manager for Linbeck Construction Corp. in Lexington. Johnson holds a certificate in management from Harvard, earned a master’s of architecture from Yale, and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton.