Kazda appointed AVP for capital projects at Princeton

James Kazda

James Kazda

James Kazda, an engineer with nearly 40 years of experience in facilities and project management, will become Princeton’s associate vice president for capital projects. The newly created position in the Facilities Organization will manage the University’s capital projects and real estate activities. Kazda will start at Princeton on June 11.

Kazda worked for 10 years as senior director and campus manager for Cornell University’s Contract Colleges Facilities and was associate director of the department for eight years prior. He managed maintenance and capital projects for the campus of more than 400 buildings in upstate New York.

At Princeton, Kazda will help establish a strategic and integrated approach to developing academic, administrative and campus life facilities as the University embarks on a multiyear program of major construction and renovation projects.

“I have worked with Jim for a decade and know him to be a person of integrity, an effective relationship builder and someone who pursues excellence in everything he does,” said Vice President for Facilities KyuJung Whang, to whom Kazda will report. “He is attentive to details while also understanding the broader institutional context, and is skilled in successfully delivering capital projects.”

Princeton recently completed a comprehensive Campus Plan that guides development over the next 10 years in the context of potential needs during the next 30 years. The 2026 Campus Plan is supplemented by a new capital plan, which outlines specific projects for the next 10 years.

In his new position, Kazda will play a lead role in the planning and execution of large-scale projects for the University, such as the development of proposed Lake Campus on lands south of Lake Carnegie.

“I am thrilled Jim has decided to bring his collaborative and open approach to Princeton and to become a key contributor in the implementation of our next capital plan,” Whang said.

As associate vice president for capital projects, Kazda will lead a department within Facilities of 60 staff members whose responsibilities cover all activities involved in capital plan project management and real estate development, including project initiation and planning, project administration and construction management.

“I look forward to being a steward for Princeton, an institution with a global impact,” Kazda said. “I hope to collaborate with and develop solutions for faculty, staff and students to support the stellar academic, research and service reputation of Princeton.”

In addition to capital projects, Kazda will oversee Princeton’s real estate activities. The Office of Real Estate Development within Facilities provides property development and project management services for properties located off campus, and often partners with outside management firms to support the needs of students, faculty and staff.

Kazda said he looks forward to getting to know the University and greater Princeton community, as well as collaborating with local leaders on capital plan and real estate development projects.

In his most recent role at Cornell, Kazda was responsible for master planning, capital planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of Contract Colleges’ facilities, including buildings, grounds and utilities on Cornell’s main Ithaca campus, Geneva Experiment Station and other research and extension facilities.

He oversaw a number of large projects, including the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s expansion, construction of a new Human Ecology Building and the historic renovation of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Stocking Hall. 

Before his 18 years at Cornell, he was a senior civil engineer for Tompkins County in New York, managing major capital projects including buildings, bridges, highways and an airport. He also worked as an engineer and project manager at Duke Power Company in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Kazda graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor of science in civil engineering and he has a master’s in business administration from Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is a licensed professional engineer.