Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2005 (Revised August 2006)

John Whitehead: A Life in Leadership

by William W. George and Andrew N. McLean


In 2005, John C. Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (LMDC), confronts the collapse of a delicate agreement among business, government, and public interests in rebuilding on the World Trade Center site. Provides information on the leadership development of the protagonist, tracing his youth and education, his military service, his leadership at Goldman Sachs and the State Department, his long involvement in philanthropy and nonprofit enterprises, and his chairmanship of the LMDC. Raises questions about leadership legacies and the application of different leadership tools across a range of tasks and environments.

Keywords: Education; Construction; Giving and Philanthropy; Biography; Leadership; Leadership Development; Agreements and Arrangements; Nonprofit Organizations;


George, William W., and Andrew N. McLean. "John Whitehead: A Life in Leadership." Harvard Business School Case 406-024, November 2005. (Revised August 2006.)