The State University Construction Fund (Fund) invites applications for the position of General Counsel. The Fund was established as a public benefit corporation under New York State Education Law, with the State University of New York (SUNY) as the Fund's only client. The Fund is dedicated solely to act as an agent for SUNY to administer planning, design and construction service contracts necessary to improve or expand SUNY's State-operated educational facilities and infrastructure on its three State-operated campuses, as well as for SUNY's three hospitals.
The General Counsel is a Board appointed position and serves as a pivotal senior member on the Fund's leadership team. This position will be responsible for all activities of the Fund's Counsel Office. Duties include, but are not limited to, advising the Fund's leadership team, management, and staff on a broad range of legal issues to progress the Fund's mission, including procurement, design, construction, contract, MBE/WBE, environmental, legislation, litigation, and employment issues. This leadership position will also serve in an advisory capacity for a variety of non-legal operational, policy and strategic matters.
General Counsel will report to the Fund's General Manager and may be given other responsibilities as assigned.
Specific Duties and Functions:
Direct and coordinate Counsel's Office personnel to meet the objectives of the office. In addition, this individual must be able to work collaboratively with others, understand their roles and responsibilities, the goals and objectives they seek to achieve, and arrive at effective and efficient solutions for the organization. In doing so, the individual will assure that the following duties and objectives are performed or effectively assigned to other Counsel staff:
- Provide clear and thoughtful legal advice and opinions to Fund staff on State government issues, including but not limited to procurement, construction, insurance, environmental matters, labor relations, and legislation.
- Understand and balance operational risks versus legal risks when providing advice and making decisions with the goal to achieve successful organizational outcomes that conform to the Fund's mission to expedite the SUNY capital plan.
- Draft, review, negotiate, and interpret a variety of agreements and associated contractual documents to implement the Fund's billion-dollar construction program.
- Create, update, analyze and process forms and legal documents for the procurement and administration of construction, design, consultant and vendor services necessary for the delivery of the Fund's projects.
- Advise, communicate and confer with Fund and SUNY Campus staff on a variety of subjects as part of a team, rendering clear, unambiguous legal opinions and advice to promote Fund objectives and resolve issues related to construction project implementation. Assist with providing advice and drafting correspondence for staff related to consultant and construction contract matters.
- Interact and negotiate with construction and consultant entities and insurance industry personnel.
- Prepare legislation; render advice with respect to the formulation, coordination and execution of the Fund's legislative program, and prepare reports and Fund positions as requested to the Governor's staff with respect to proposed legislation.
- Coordinate and direct outside counsel, including the Attorney General's Office, in connection with administrative proceedings, liens and litigation involving the Fund.
- Develop and revise appropriate legal strategy for the resolution of claims, disputes and the handling of trials/hearings.
- Provide direction and assistance to staff in preparation of claims, default hearings, mediation, disputes, trials and hearings.
- Conduct and manage necessary and appropriate discovery, hearings, trials, depositions, oral arguments, mediations, arbitrations and similar proceedings.
- Render legal advice with respect to general corporate matters such as FOIL requests, insurance matters, and system issues.
- Provide legal advice to the Fund's Board.
- Perform other duties/projects as requested by the General Manager.
Qualifications and Experience Requirements:
Candidates must have graduated from an ABA accredited law school and be a member in good standing of the State Bar of New York on the date of hire and throughout employment.
Candidates should have twenty years of significant and progressively responsible legal experience. Legal experience, preferably in both a private practice setting and as an in-house counsel, in support of complex public or private sector construction projects is required. Experience is strongly preferred in construction, litigation, and New York State procurement. Experience with government defense and Employee and Labor Relations is desired. Managerial experience supervising other attorneys, non-attorney staff and outside counsel is required. The candidate must have exemplary ethical attributes as confidentiality and integrity are vital characteristics of the position.
Applicants must be able to work well under pressure, be flexible and able to adapt and manage multiple wide-ranging matters and conflicting deadlines. The ability to proactively identify, prioritize and resolve legal issues quickly and effectively is essential.
Applicants must possess excellent oral and written communication skills, analytical and conceptual skills and the ability to oversee a project(s) or program(s) and delegate as necessary for completion. Exceptional interpersonal skills are necessary for success. Professional temperament and demeanor are essential traits.
Proficient in Microsoft Office. Travel will be required throughout New York State.
The Fund offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits package, including New York State retirement, generous health, dental, vacation, sick and personal time.