Stars of Stanford Medicine

Promila Rastogi


Office of Facilities Planning & Management
Stanford School of Medicine


Promila Rastogi is your Stanford Redwood City ambassador, in charge of orchestrating a smooth move and fostering a vibrant campus culture.

Preparing for the Relocation

At a recent staff appreciation luncheon, Promila Rastogi mingled with the crowd. Her goal: to informally answer questions about the move to the Stanford Redwood City campus. It’s a topic she knows well.  After all, in her new role, Rastogi is tasked with helping her medical school colleagues prepare for and navigate the upcoming transition.

Rastogi accepted the newly created position of director of transformational initiatives: people and place last spring. While she’s tuned into the logistical aspects of the pre-move planning – things like space design, furniture selection, and transportation programs –  her key focus is on helping medical school employees thrive in the new workspace. She’s already hard at work, seeking input from and sharing information with teams ahead of the move. She attends small group discussions around campus and invites colleagues who are preparing for the change to exchange ideas with others via monthly town hall sessions. She facilitates change management workshops, which can be scheduled for intact groups at times that work for individual departments.

Rastogi wants all employees – even those who will remain on the historical campus – to become comfortable interacting with colleagues who aren’t collocated. To this end, she partners with IRT IT Support teams to support the adoption of virtual collaboration tools like Zoom, Slack, and Medicine Box Drive.

And Rastogi’s work won’t end on move day.  After teams relocate, she’ll continue in the role, putting in place programming to help transform the new campus into a meaningful place to work. She notes, “The physical move may only take a few weeks, but it will take employees much longer to adapt to the shift in the locations, commutes, and open workspaces. That’s where I think I can help.”

Embracing a Different Approach to Work

While this isn’t the first time medical school teams have relocated, this move is unique. Niraj Dangoria, associate dean in the Office of Facilities Planning and Management, points out that many employees have worked off campus for years but continue to conduct business on campus. With the transition to Redwood City, that will change.  He says, “Without easy access to campus, some people may feel like they have a loss. Promila’s role is about helping people acknowledge opportunities created by a new reality, which includes a different approach to work.”

Indeed, Rastogi is looking to establish opportunities in the continuum for how people in the School of Medicine work in the future. This includes telecommuting arrangements, flexible work schedules, and the use of alternative worksites like those in San Jose, the East Bay, and San Francisco — all designed to ease commutes.

A new approach to work at Stanford also includes the rollout of space plans that combine an open office design with activity-based areas. Rastogi acknowledges that employees may have some apprehension about open offices but thinks they’ll come to appreciate having access to a variety of workspaces. As she explains, “People are no longer restricted to working at a desk. They’ll be able to use phone rooms, huddle spaces, the plaza area in Discovery Hall, and the Community Court, which is an open green space with seating, fully covered by Wi-Fi.”

Building a New Community

With a tenure at Stanford that spans 12 years, Rastogi is well-qualified to guide medical school employees through this milestone event. She comes to this position from Medical Center Development, where as director of strategy and operations she used her skills to ensure that people had what they needed to do their jobs.

The opening of the new campus will bring together about 2,700 employees who weren’t together traditionally. Rastogi says she sees this as a new beginning, adding, “This is really about helping people connect, building community, and establishing a new culture for a new place.”

The Stanford Redwood City campus, set to open in the spring of 2019, includes four office buildings. The School of Medicine will occupy Discovery Hall, shown here. 

Story by Jan Morrill. Photo of Promila Rastogi by Daud Haidari.