June 07, 2018

University President John Garvey announces the appointment of Debra Nauta-Rodriguez, FAIA, LEED-AP, as the University’s associate vice president for facilities planning and management and University architect effective July 30, 2018. Nauta-Rodriguez joins the University as it undertakes transformation of its physical campus to meet the future needs of its students, faculty, and staff. She will be responsible for preparation of the campus facilities master plan, stewardship of the University’s campus development principles and standards, and serving as the ‘design conscience’ of the University community for its physical environment. Nauta-Rodriguez also will serve as secretary to the Board of Trustees Facilities Committee.

“I am delighted to appoint Debra Nauta-Rodriguez to this important role,” said Garvey. “Her Notre Dame architectural education (magna cum laude) and exemplary, nearly three-decade career at the Smithsonian will translate into tremendous contributions to place-making at Catholic University. Debbie’s interviews and campus visit interactions produced a strong consensus that she is the right leader for us, in both professional experience and personal attributes. We all are excited and pleased that she is joining our team.”

Nauta-Rodriguez joins the University following a 28-year career progression as a practicing architect, project manager, and executive at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. At Catholic University, she will lead the University’s Facilities Operations division, which comprises Facilities Planning and Construction, Environmental Health and Safety, Energy and Environmental Systems, and Facilities Maintenance and Operations.

“I am so pleased that Debbie will lead our efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of our built environment,” said Robert M. Specter, vice president for finance and University treasurer. “We intend to transform our campus with amenities that are aimed at attracting students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Debbie’s leadership will allow us to continue our focus on design excellence, crisp project execution, and environmental sustainability.”

Catholic University has the largest, greenest campus in Washington, D.C., with 50 major buildings plus athletic and recreation fields, developed campus lawns, and undeveloped land on a total of 176 acres. The University’s master plan is guided by four planning principles:

  1. Reflect the University’s Catholic mission and values.
  2. Support academic excellence.
  3. Support a vibrant campus experience.
  4. Create a more cohesive campus community through consistent application of elegant and functional design.

“It is my privilege to join Catholic University at this important moment in the evolution of its campus,” Nauta-Rodriguez said. “The University’s mission and values are key to guiding the transformation of place and space. Sustainable stewardship of this very special campus requires creative design solutions that beautify and inspire as much as they advance functionality and efficiency. Only then will the University’s buildings and open spaces meet the needs of community members who love this institution and have ambitious aspirations for its future. I look forward to collaborating with faculty and staff in refining and interpreting the campus master plan and fulfilling its great potential.”