Stars of Stanford Medicine

Linda Gibson


Facilities Planning and Management

Linda Gibson manages new building construction and renovation projects for the School of Medicine.

If you are sitting at a desk in a building somewhere on the Stanford Medicine campus, there’s a good chance that Linda Gibson (or one of her colleagues) in Facilities Planning and Management has had a hand in creating your safe, comfortable and functional workplace.

This team supports an average of 80 to 90 projects a year, from renovations of offices, labs, classrooms and specialized equipment spaces, to the construction of new buildings. Gibson is a cool-headed taskmaster who effortlessly juggles timelines, budgets, contractors, regulatory agencies and city planners, as she works her way through organizational silos and bureaucratic red tape with patient determination.

“Linda is a consummate professional who gets things accomplished with a minimum of fuss. She always puts the needs of our faculty, staff and students first,” said Niraj Dangoria, associate dean for facilities planning and management. 

Gibson’s role in managing projects varies according to the total cost for each job. For projects under $10 million, she manages a host of responsibilities that includes conceptual development, design, permitting, construction and occupancy.

Projects over $10 million are managed at the university level by the Office of Land, Buildings and Real Estate. For these, Gibson plays a pivotal role in representing the needs of the medical school and the organizations that will occupy the Buildings.

For example, when industrialist C. J. Huang funded the construction of the Asian Liver Center, a nonprofit focused on reducing the incidence of Hepatitis B and liver cancer in Asians and Asian Americans, he asked that the building design reflect the cultural traditions of the Asian community. To accomplish this, Gibson worked with a Chinese Feng Shui consultant who provided advice on colors and landscaping elements that would have a healing effect on the center’s visitors.

In a recent renovation project at 1070 Arastradero Road, Gibson managed the special design requirements of the Project Baseline study, which will track the health of 10,000 volunteers over the next few years. For this collaboration between Stanford Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine and Verily Life Sciences, Gibson had to reconfigure the space to accommodate exam rooms with treadmills, eye exam stations and a lab to collect samples.

While the complexity of these types of projects might send some people running in the opposite direction, Gibson says wouldn’t have it any other way: “I’m a planner by nature. I like to set a schedule and have a list of priorities and tasks to complete in a certain timeframe. And I enjoy crossing things off.”

She says the thing that has kept her job fresh for 20 years is that every project and every day is different.

“I have to think outside of the box. I pull from the knowledge I’ve gained, then apply it to the solution that delivers the best outcome,” she says.

And best of all, she likes what happens after the ribbon cutting of a new facility. “I like reading about the research and the things that are being done in the spaces that we built.”

Story by Kris Newby. Photo of Asian Liver Center by Jeremy Bitteman.