A New Home for All of Johns Hopkins in Washington, D.C.

July 14, 2023 by Erin Torres

Vice Provost Lainie Rutkow shares plans, vision, and excitement for Johns Hopkins’ new D.C. facility

Johns Hopkins Vice Provost Lainie Rutkow
Johns Hopkins Vice Provost Lainie Rutkow sees Hopkins’ new home “as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform ourselves as a university, bringing much more of Johns Hopkins to D.C. and also much more of D.C. and the world into Johns Hopkins.”

Lainie Rutkow, JD, BSPH ’05 (MPH), ’09 (PhD), is the university’s inaugural vice provost for interdisciplinary initiatives. Her portfolio includes leading the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center and promoting interdisciplinary work, innovative collaborations, and partnerships throughout the university and beyond. She is also helping to advance efforts and impact of Johns Hopkins in Washington, D.C.

Rutkow sat down with Development and Alumni Relations to talk about Johns Hopkins’ new home in the nation’s capital. Located at 555 Pennsylvania Ave., the facility will be a vibrant new convening space to serve students, researchers, policymakers, and faculty from every academic division of the university. The building is the result of careful planning and design, the partnership of volunteer leaders and donors, and an exciting vision for the future of our university and its presence in D.C.

What will be happening at the university’s new home in Washington, D.C.?

The university’s new home in Washington, D.C., will bring all of our current D.C.-based academic programs under one roof — including the entirety of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and programs from the Carey Business School and the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Every division within Johns Hopkins is planning to have a presence in this building. For example, the Nexus Awards, a new university-wide funding program, will support faculty-led convening, research, and teaching anchored at our new D.C. home. Our inaugural cohort of Nexus Awardees includes 40 projects with representation from every Johns Hopkins academic division.

How will this building change Hopkins’ work and presence in D.C.? On the global stage?

We will have a greatly expanded presence in Washington, D.C., in a building with approximately 400,000 gross square feet. Our event spaces include three floors for conferencing and convening and a theater that seats up to 375, giving us an incredible platform for programming that will showcase Johns Hopkins expertise and research to inform policy, discourse, and debate. Our faculty are already planning high-profile events and opportunities that will rapidly establish Johns Hopkins as a preeminent, non-partisan convener in Washington, D.C.

What will the student experience be like in the space?

Students will have access to state-of-the-art classrooms and other facilities, including a new branch of the Sheridan Libraries. In spring 2024, we’ll be launching an undergraduate semester in D.C., in which a cohort of Johns Hopkins undergrads will live together in D.C., take intensive coursework, and participate in D.C.-based internships and co-curricular programming.

What synergies will exist with other JH locations and programs not housed in D.C.?

Our proximity to Union Station in D.C. will help to create a dynamic, bidirectional portal between our D.C.- and Baltimore-based programs. For example, the SNF Agora Institute, which is primarily housed in Baltimore, is planning D.C.-based programming and will have several faculty with offices in D.C. Faculty and students from the Peabody Institute will perform multiple times each month in the building’s theater. Some of our Baltimore-based faculty are developing classes that will be taught in D.C., to better connect students with resources and opportunities unique to that city. And, every division of the university — including the divisions primarily based in Baltimore — will be hosting events and programs at our new D.C.-based home. Of course, that includes Development and Alumni Relations as well!

You’ve been working on this project for a few years and have witnessed the transformation of the building from a museum to an academic hub. What excites you most about the building?

While the facility will be incredible, I’m most excited about the programming that we’ll be putting into the building. I see this as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform ourselves as a university, bringing much more of Johns Hopkins to D.C. and also much more of D.C. and the world into Johns Hopkins. And, with more than 400 open seats and a variety of huddle rooms and conference rooms, I’m looking forward to the many different options for meeting and gathering with colleagues in D.C.

A New Home

Interested in learning more about Hopkins’ presence in Washington D.C.?

Topics: Alumni, Faculty and Staff, Carey Business School, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, School of Advanced International Studies, Strengthening Partnerships