Dr. Levitt served on the faculty of the Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Stanford from 1980 until his retirement in 2017. Before that, he served on the faculty of MIT's Civil Engineering Dept. from 1975-1980.
Projects to develop and operate civil infrastructure increasingly involve private, public and NGO participants from multiple countries, resulting in clashes between participants' values, cultural norms and laws that can create high institutional costs, and attendant delays. Dr. Levitt's past research, conducted through the Global Projects Center (GPC), which he founded and directs, was aimed at developing new financing, governance and organizational approaches to enhance the long-term financial, environmental and social sustainability of these critically needed, but institutionally challenging, projects. His research program developed theory, methods, and tools to design organization structures and governance regimes for project and matrix organization structures in construction and other project-based industries.He retired from Stanford in July 2017, and has been recalled part time to continue teaching his class on "Venture Creation for the Real Economy". In recognition of this work, he was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger as a Commissioner of the California Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission (PIAC) in 2008 and served as a Commissioner of PIAC from 2008-2013.
Levitt founded and served as Academic Director of the Stanford Advanced Project Management (SAPM) executive education certificate program. SAPM awarded more than 9,000 certificates to mid-career professionals in a wide variety of industry sectors from its inception in 1999 until 2018.
He was elected a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a Member of the National Academy of Construction..
After retiring from Stanford, Dr. Levitt joined Blackhorn Ventures as an Operating Partner. He currently leads Blackhorn's investments in startups whose solutions aim to increase resource efficiency dramatically in all phases of the development of buildings and infrastructure.