Scott Levitan, who has more than 30 years of experience in real estate and research park development, is the new CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation, which oversees development of Research Triangle Park.

Levitan started his new duties Tuesday.

Levitan takes over the CEO job from interim chief executive Liz Rooks. A long-time executive with the Park, Rooks came out of retirement to take on the CEO job when Bob Geolas left the position last September.

“This is a dream job and amazing opportunity,” Levitan said in a statement. “RTP has all the right ingredients—a smart talent pool, a low cost of living, top-tier research universities, engaged staff and community partners, and some of the most innovative companies in the world—to continue growing, transforming, and providing a positive impact to our state and to society at large.”

Levitan’s most recent position was Vice President of Forest City Realty Trust and Development Director for the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins and the New East Baltimore Community. He has worked for that firm over the past decade.

The Baltimore project

There are numerous similarities between tje Science + Technology Park project and RTP, where Levitan will take over implementation of the new strategic plan for RTP. Here’s a snapshot of the Baltimore project:

“The Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins anchors a mixed-use redevelopment of 88 acres adjacent to the Johns Hopkins University medical campus and hospital in East Baltimore. Centered on the new 5.5-acre Eager Park, this effort includes new commercial lab and office space, retail, for-sale and rental housing and a new K-8 public school.

“Opened in 2006, more than 40 life science companies and research institutions have located here to partner with Johns Hopkins in commercializing scientific discovery. In addition, 350 residential units and a 350-unit graduate student housing building are occupied. Residents and employees working around Eager Park have priority to send their children to the new K-8 Henderson Hopkins School.”

Source: The Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins

A graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design where he studied urban development, Levitan also brings knowledge of the southeast to his new role. He served as Executive Director, Real Estate, for the Georgia Institute of Technology from May 2001 to Sept. 2006

Levitan also served as Director, University & Commercial Real Estate at Harvard as well as executive roles at Hall, Davison & Company and Olympia & York.​

“It was important in our selection process to find someone with experience not only in leading research parks, but also in multi-use real estate projects—someone who has partnered with universities, and created strong communities,” said RTF Chairman of the Board, Smedes York, a veteran real estate executive in the Triangle. “With Scott, we have an outstanding leader; we think he will do a great job.”

The RTP’s strategic plan unveiled nearly two years ago calls for mixed-use development that includes the 100-acre Park Center.“We have put together a strong vision and plan for the future of RTP,” says York. “And now, we have a leader who we believe can help us write RTP’s next successful chapter.”