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Alex Darragh named VP for Facilities

Will be responsible for campus planning, new capital project management, energy and sustainability and more

Alex Darragh has been named Northwestern University’s vice president for Facilities, Senior Vice President Craig Johnson announced today. Darragh’s appointment will begin July 1, 2019.

Alex Darragh
Alex Darragh

Darragh, who earned a master’s degree in urban policy planning from Northwestern in 1980, has served as interim vice president for Facilities since September 2018 through a consulting agreement with the global real estate services firm CBRE.

Johnson said Darragh emerged from a national search of prominent candidates. 

“Alex has already demonstrated excellent leadership in stabilizing this critically important function following a period of rapid capital expansion,” Johnson said of Darragh’s tenure while serving as interim vice president. “He clearly has the right skills and experience to lead Facilities at this important moment.”

As vice president for Facilities at Northwestern, Darragh will lead a staff of almost 350 people and be responsible for campus planning, new capital project management, energy and sustainability planning, operations and maintenance, real estate activities and other key functions.

Johnson praised Darragh for outlining key initiatives during his interim tenure that will ensure Facilities will continue to be a trusted business partner to schools, units and the University as a whole.

“I look forward to working with Alex as we strive to support the University’s teaching and research mission through sound and sustainable management of our physical assets,” Johnson said.

Darragh said he is honored to serve Northwestern and to be “part of a world-renowned institution.” 

“The opportunities open to Northwestern in the near- and long-term are very exciting,” he said. “The Facilities organization has the expertise and dedication to support the broader University community in fulfilling the mission and vision of this institution. I am looking forward to contributing to the future success of Northwestern.”

Darragh came to Northwestern with four decades of experience in corporate real estate, strategic planning, organizational development and analysis of real estate finance, and investment. He spent 12 years in various roles at CBRE, and seven years at Trammell Crow Company. 

Before that, he served as a vice president for transaction and project management and strategic planning at American Express. He also spent seven years at The Balcor Company, where he was a senior vice president for portfolio advisory services.

Besides his master’s degree from Northwestern, Darragh earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

He lives in Evanston with his spouse, Linda, who is a clinical professor at the Kellogg School of Management. The couple has three adult children, two of whom are graduates of Northwestern and all of whom currently reside in the Chicago area.