Christopher M. Gordon
Senior Lecturer of Business Administration
Chris Gordon is a Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School teaching and writing in the real estate group primarily on the subject of complex capital projects. He also is a Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the Center for Real Estate, teaching a nationally recognized course on project delivery, and serves as an advisor on complex capital projects worldwide.
Prior to his appointment to HBS, he served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Allston Development Group at Harvard University from 2005 to 2010. In that role he oversaw all aspects of the development of Harvard’s campus expansion in the Allston section of Boston as well as development projects on the historic Cambridge campus.
Before stepping into the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Allston Development Group, Chris was director of Capital Programs and Logan Modernization for the Massachusetts Port Authority. During his decade at Massport, he was responsible for capital programming and project delivery for all capital projects at all Massport facilities, including Logan International Airport (the 13th busiest airport in the world), Hanscom Airfield, Tobin Memorial Bridge, Maritime Terminals on the Port of Boston, and the Worcester Regional Airport. He oversaw the successful completion of the $4.4 billion Logan Modernization Project and as Director of Capital Programs, oversaw a $500 million annual budget.
Chris has served as a board member of the National Research Council’s Board on Infrastructure and the Built Environment, a trustee of the Engineering Center Education Trust, a corresponding editor of the American Society of Civil Engineers Engineering Management Journal, and has been a speaker at numerous conferences. Chris was named the 2001 Person of the Year for the Construction Management Association of America for both the New England region and the country, and was named the 2000 Government Engineer of the Year by the Boston Society of Civil Engineers. In 2003, he received the Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service. He was Governor Mitt Romney’s appointee as Co-Chair of the Special Commission on Public Construction Reform; in 2004, this resulted in landmark reform of all public construction laws in the Commonwealth. Chris was honored as the recipient of the 2006 New England Achievement Award, presented by the Engineers Week in Boston Committee, a division of The Engineering Center; this annual award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievements, commitment to public service, and support of the engineering profession. Most recently, Chris served as the Chief Judge for 2010 for the Engineering Excellence Awards for America.
Prior to joining Massport, Chris worked for Cambridge Systematics in the Program Management Group, for Bechtel Corporation in the Civil Division, and for H.E. Bergeron as a project manager.
Chris holds a bachelors degree in civil engineering from the University of Maine and a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (research focus on project management and infrastructure delivery methods) and is a registered Professional Engineer in several states. He is married to Cici Gordon, public relations executive; the Gordons reside in Winchester, Massachusetts, with their two children, Tucker, age sixteen, and Tate, age ten.
Hudson Yards—The Other Side of the Tracks?
Stephan Ross, CEO of Related Companies, is considering an opportunity to invest $1 billion for the air rights over the Hudson Rail Yards in New York City. The investment would allow Related to build a platform over the operating rail tracks and develop this blighted edge of New York City into one of the top tier places to live, work and shop in the world.
Keywords: real estate;
Growth and Development Strategy;
Real Estate Industry;
New York (city, NY);
Gordon, Christopher M., A. Eugene Kohn, John D. Macomber, and Lisa Strope. "Hudson Yards—The Other Side of the Tracks?" Harvard Business School Case 213-040, January 2013.
Dirigo International (TN)
Dirigo International is proposing a major expansion of their life sciences research and manufacturing facilities in the heart of a major city and middle to lower income residential neighborhood. The company and city government are seeking a development solution in the form of unique land use regulations and a resulting development strategy that weighs the financial, economic, aesthetic, and environmental impacts of the development. Companies and governments around the world often find themselves on opposite sides of land use proposals. This case demonstrates the dilemmas and tradeoffs related to private land owner rights and the role of government in seeking positive outcomes for broader society. Case students will rigorously look at issues of development density, funding responsibilities, financial capacity, land use regulation, and development politics.
Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms;
Business and Government Relations;
Research and Development;
Outcome or Result;
Gordon, Christopher M., and Chad M. Carr. "Dirigo International.
" Harvard Business School Case 212-056, August 2012. (Revised from original January 2012 version.)
Allston: Brand vs. Architecture
Harvard President Lawrence Summers had presided over the final interviews of world-renowned architects being considered for the science complex planned for Harvard's expanded campus in Allston. The selection process had absorbed nine months in 2005 and amplified the long-standing debate about Harvard architecture. How will the proposed new complex be received be faculty, students, alumni, neighbors, and the public?
Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions;
Brands and Branding;
Perold, Andre F., Arthur I Segel, and Christopher M. Gordon. "Allston: Brand vs. Architecture.
" Harvard Business School Case 208-079, March 2009. (Revised from original November 2007 version.)
Disaster in April: The Obligations of Kelly Construction
A construction company experiences a crane accident with multiple fatalities. The CEO, a client, and an employee must make choices to meet the company's obligations. Set in 2006, the case looks at the choices faced by board members of a museum that is an important client and that is faced with a completion deadline and of a key employee who has other offers of employment and is negotiating a stay-put bonus. The rights and interests of the surety company that provided the construction bond are also interwoven. The protagonist is the CEO of a multi-generational family business who must now negotiate with these parties and then decide whether to attempt to raise new capital, declare bankruptcy, or try to lead a controlled wind-down. The case explores crisis management, decisions by principals operating in the zone of insolvency, construction contract types, the limits of recourse available from construction bonds, roles of board members, calculation of an employee stay-put bonus pool, subcontractor and vendor communication, and reputational issues around bankruptcy or closure of a closely held family business. Analytical tools include contract status report, contractor balance sheet, and stay-put bonus pool.
Keywords: Business Exit or Shutdown;
Insolvency and Bankruptcy;
Governing and Advisory Boards;
Compensation and Benefits;
Allston: Brand vs. Architecture (TN)
Teaching Note for .
Keywords: Brands and Branding;
Buildings and Facilities;
Selection and Staffing;