What I do:
As Stanford Real Estate’s Managing Director of Asset Management, I am primarily responsible for strategic planning and management of the world-renowned Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto, the preeminent real estate asset of Stanford University, comprised of 700 acres and 10.3 million square feet of improved R&D and office buildings, 180 faculty homes and 70 affordable apartments. Stanford Research Park’s market value exceeds $12 billion, and all income produced by this portfolio, which is significant, supports Stanford University’s general funds and endowment – a mission that is near and dear to my heart as a former student. As part of overseeing the Stanford Research Park’s strategic plan and day-to-day operations, I identify opportunities and make recommendations to the Stanford Management Company Board of Directors to purchase or extend ground leaseholds, market new long-term ground leases, negotiate direct leases with tenants, or redevelop obsolete buildings. The key tenants I have recruited to or retained in the Research Park include Tesla Motors, Skype (Microsoft), Facebook, VMware, Ford Motor Company and Lyft.
Why I do it:
This role is not a just a job; it’s a privilege! Working for Stanford and playing a role in managing a portion of its vast 8,180 acres provides a unique opportunity to utilize my real estate asset management and project management experiences, deploy the financial, analytical, marketing and leadership skills gained at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and invoke the land planning strategies learned in my Urban Studies classes. My Stanford education taught me to identify and pursue my passion with unrelenting drive and integrity. My personal mission is to build well-designed, sustainable, high-performing real estate projects that demonstrate respect for the environment and promote a sense of community. I am fortunate that Stanford Real Estate’s mission aligns with my personal mission.
How I got here:
My primary goal in choosing my first job out of Stanford undergrad was to develop a tangible skill, and so I worked as a Project Manager for Stanford’s Land and Buildings department, facilitating the planning, design and construction of several on-campus projects. Following Stanford GSB, I transitioned to asset management with an institutional equity investor, sourcing and financing several residential master-planned communities throughout the western U.S. My desire to transition to a hands-on role in managing real estate assets on behalf on an owner, complete with a more complex set of issues than any other real estate portfolio, brought me to Stanford Real Estate.
First, I feel it was an accomplishment to figure out my love of urban studies and real estate while a Stanford student, developing the critical thinking skills that have served me well in evaluating the complex and competing issues involved in managing the built environment. Second, I am proud to have completed over $1 billion in revenue-generating transactions for Stanford University – precious income that directly funds the University’s mission-critical academic programs.
What my Urban Studies major has done for me:
The benefit of the Urban Studies major is the systematic exploration of diverse topics involved in land use and real estate, which at one point I counted could have led to over 30 distinct career paths. With the encouragement of world-class teachers and advisors, most notably then-Director Len Ortolano, Fred Stout, Tim Stanton and John Barton, I had the opportunity to explore how our cultural and socio-economic patterns are shaped by the physical spaces we design; how social, political, economic and physical forces shape real estate development decisions; and how intelligent land use planning can often solve community problems. I learned that well-trained business leaders must take a balanced, integrated approach to understanding economic and human needs. I feel eternally grateful for the opportunities the Urban Studies program gave me. I am most appreciative for the generous, patient mentoring I received from the noteworthy Urban Studies faculty, as well as the intellectual stimulation and soul-searching that was inspired by the Urban Studies curriculum. My favorite Urban Studies research project was developing a long-term land use plan for the Stanford Research Park, and look where that took me! How lucky am I?