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Jose Fernandez named senior vice president of campus operations at St. Jude

Newly created position will oversee multiple departments and campus expansion

Memphis, Tennessee, July 29, 2021

Man in dark suit and tie looks at camera.

Jose Fernandez is the new senior vice president of campus operations at St. Jude.

Jose Fernandez has joined St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as senior vice president of campus operations.

In this role, he will be responsible for overseeing and helping to maintain food service, biomedical engineering and environmental services, as well as the design and construction and facilities departments. Fernandez will also be heavily involved in campus expansion outlined in the St. Jude Strategic Plan 2022-27. The plan includes $1.9 billion in campus construction, including the recently completed Advanced Research Center, new patient housing, which is under construction, and projects still in development.

Before joining St. Jude, Fernandez was vice president of facilities planning, real estate and plant operations at Valencia College in Orlando. At Valencia, he was responsible for operations and strategic facilities planning, capital improvement and sustainability for a 660-acre campus with more than 70,000 students.

Fernandez has nearly 40 years of experience managing multimillion-dollar development in corporate and health care environments. He holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering/Construction Management, a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in Art and Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Fernandez sees his role as helping to grow the St. Jude community, while continuing to nurture the sense of collaboration and belonging the organization has championed over the years. That includes building top-notch research facilities that will attract researchers to help St. Jude find treatments and cures for catastrophic pediatric diseases.

“The technical challenge of the job is scaling our methods and process for the volume of work we are undertaking in the strategic plan. The human factors challenge, which excites me the most, is place making, creating environments that build community and foster collaboration.”

“We are fortunate to attract a candidate of Jose’s caliber,” said James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and CEO. “As an MIT graduate with decades of experience, he is the right person to help guide the $1.9 billion growth outlined for construction, renovation and capital needs in the strategic plan.”

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To learn more, visit or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.