A Project Director (PD) is typically responsible for the construction of new diplomatic facilities overseas (US Embassy or Consulate) or renovations of these facilities. She or he is essentially the owner's representative for the US Government and ensures the design and construction contractors perform withing the requirements of their contracts and taxpayer money is well spent.
On major projects such as a new embassy compound, the PD will recruit and hire local and American technical and administrative staff to help manage the project. At the beginning stage of the project, the PD will interact with design, security, and planning professionals to ensure that the design parameters are achieved for the facility. They will also work with contract and HR specialists to identify engineering , security, and administrative staff. This involves the drafting of position descriptions, recruiting, interviewing, and training new staff.
As the project moves into the active construction phase, daily efforts revolve around coordination of quality inspections, planning of the work, management of site security, ensuring safety requirements are met, review of shop drawings and product submittals. Most of this work is delegated to the PD's staff, but the PD is ultimately responsible for the performance of the contract and correspondence and direction given to the construction contractor. The PD must also coordinate and report to the Embassy on progress or issues that may publicly involve the name of the US Government. There are also government security inspections at intervals during construction to ensure compliance with congressional mandates.
As a project comes to a close, the PD must coordinate closely with the Embassy or Consulate to plan their move into the new facility. She or he must also coordinate final security and building inspections before granting a Certificate of Occupancy.
Broadly, a typical day involves a great deal of correspondence, meeting, and decision making. The PD must be able to collaborate with a wide spectrum of individuals and entities, both American and from the host country where the project takes place.