USD Names New Vice President for Business and Administration

USD President Mary E. Lyons has named Russell C. Thackston, PE, the new vice president for Business and Administration. Mr. Thackston’s selection is the culmination of an extensive national search that yielded several highly qualified candidates.

Mr. Thackston will assume his USD post on January 28, 2013.

With more than 30 years of increasingly responsible professional experience, Mr. Thackston brings to USD an extensive record of accomplishments in strategic planning, contracting, procurement, human resources, planning, real estate, design, construction, facilities management, auxiliary services, sustainability and transportation.

Currently, the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Facilities Management at UC San Diego, Thackston joined UCSD in 2003. During his tenure, he has also served as the assistant vice chancellor, Auxiliary and Plant Services and the director of Facilities Management. As the AVC, Auxiliary and Plant Services, he oversaw a team of over 1,000 employees and managed an annual budget of $120 million. Recognized nationally for his leadership of university campus sustainability initiatives, he helped create UCSD’s Sustainability Resource Center that promotes student, staff and faculty collaborations.

Throughout his career, Mr. Thackston has demonstrated that he is an exceptionally talented administrator and entrepreneur. At UCSD, he successfully reduced the division’s costs by $3 million and increased revenue by $5 million annually. He developed a nationally recognized, innovative sustainability and renewable energy program earning UCSD the Sierra Club’s third “coolest” school award.

Prior to joining UCSD, he served as the director, Construction and Facilities Management for two naval bases in Ventura County; director of Construction at Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pearl Harbor, HI; executive officer at Camp David Presidential Retreat, Maryland, and various other posts from Antarctica to Florida.

Mr. Thackston earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and computer engineering at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, a Master of Engineering in civil engineering and construction from the University of Florida, and a Master of Arts in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College in Newport, RI.

Thackston lives in Coronado, CA with his wife Bridget, a native San Diegan and registered nurse, and his youngest daughter Morgan a high school junior. His oldest daughter Kelsey attends UC Santa Cruz, and his son Ian is employed by a software solutions company in Silicon Valley.