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Meet Lou Cariello, VP of UW Facilities

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Former rear admiral heads department of 1,100

If you spend any time around Lou Cariello, the new vice president of UW Facilities, you’re likely to hear him quote the late great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

It’s one of his guiding principles, Cariello says. He’ll be bringing this leadership philosophy to the task of leading the new UW Facilities department, which was recently created by combining Capital Planning & Development and Facilities Services. The department is made up of more than 1,100 employees.

“We’re a more effective team when we have all of the people involved with planning, designing and constructing facilities at the table working together with those involved with operating and maintaining our facilities,” Cariello says.

The former U.S. Navy officer is especially well-suited to the integration of the two units, having experienced firsthand the Navy’s transition from a split facilities services and capital planning and development structure into a single, combined organization. Before retiring as a rear admiral last year, Cariello spent 30 years leading facilities and engineering organizations across the United States and abroad, including supervising facilities management of the Navy’s institutions of higher education, research laboratories and medical facilities.

“My facilities experience has spanned the entire life cycle – from real estate planning, management and acquisition to planning, design and construction, as well as operations, sustainment, maintenance and repair,” Cariello says. He’s also worked on energy conservation, environmental planning, and remediation and compliance projects.

“Lou brings a depth of experience and expertise that is well-suited to the University’s mission,” says Jeff Scott, executive vice president for UW Finance & Administration. “I am confident in his ability to do great things for UW Facilities, the campus and the community.”

Cariello, 54, grew up in southern New Jersey and studied at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering. After 30 years traveling around the world for the Navy, he moved to Seattle earlier this year to lead the facilities team setting up Kaiser Permanente’s new Washington state region.

But it’s not all work and no play for Cariello. He’s been an aspiring guitar player since his youth, and is a fan of classic 1970s rock, including the Rolling Stones, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Rush and The Beatles. When asked what his greatest accomplishments are thus far, he says he’s a proud husband and father of three wonderful kids who’ve learned how to cope with the challenges of moving every few years.

While he will remain a Yankees and Giants fan, Cariello has already become an avid supporter of our Huskies, Seahawks and Mariners.

“Regarding transitioning into the world of higher education, I know what it means to serve a distinguished clientele that is the best in the world at what they do. I am used to operating in an environment with high standards and I have similarly high expectations for the facilities team.”

And his mission here is clear.

“I get energy from engaging with people who care deeply about the learning, research and public service mission here at the UW. And I believe that the purpose of any leader is to leverage and develop the talent in the organization to do great things. Along that line and in support of the UW mission, I’ll do everything in my power to take care of our people who are engaged in such meaningful work.”