Martha J. Crawford - Faculty & Research - Harvard Business School
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Martha J. Crawford

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

General Management

Martha J. Crawford joined the faculty of Harvard Business School in 2016, after an accomplished career as Chief Technology Officer and Executive Director, managing global R&D operations for multi-nationals in the energy and chemicals sectors. As CTO, Crawford led large, dispersed teams located in R&D centers on several continents, and thus experienced first-hand the complexities of change management and leadership in an international corporate setting.

A dual - American and French - national, Crawford holds a PhD in Chemical and Environmental Engineering (Harvard SEAS) and an MBA (College des Ingenieurs, Paris). She brings to the HBS faculty a practical understanding of the issues large incumbents face, in needing to transform their technologies, operations and business models to face external threats, while leveraging capital-intensive assets.

Since 2013, Crawford has served as Independent Director for two French multi-national (mid-cap, Euronext-listed) companies. From 2007 to 2014, Crawford also served on the Boards of subsidiaries of companies for whom she was an executive. Through her Board mandates, Crawford has been a member/chair of Committees on Strategy, Compensation and Nominations, and Audit.

Crawford was knighted to the French National Order of Merit, in 2012, in recognition of her work in helping the French state to reform its universities and national labs. She continues to serve as Vice President of a high-level committee (IDEX) reporting directly to the Prime Minister’s office, which is advising the government on university reform. Crawford was a member of the Board to both the French National Energy Labs (CEA) and the French National Scientific Labs (CNRS), in the 2000s.

In the 1990s, Crawford worked for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as Principal Administrator of the Environmental Performance and Information Division. In this capacity, she led a series of peer reviews of OECD countries, examining in detail the effectiveness and costs of environmental policies and regulations.

Since returning to Harvard in 2016, Crawford has taught the core curriculum course Leadership and Corporate Accountability, as well as a course on Energy in the 21st Century. She is developing case materials for both courses, and is also supporting initiatives to strengthen links with technological entrepreneurs in Cambridge. 

Journal Articles
  1. Pollution and Skin: From Epidemiological and Mechanistic Studies to Clinical Implications

    Jean Krutmann, Wei Liu, Li Li, Xiaochuan Pan, Martha Crawford, Gabrielle Sore and Sophie Seite

    In recent years, the health effects associated with air pollution have been intensively studied. Most studies focus on air pollution effects on the lung and the cardiovascular system. More recently, however, epidemiological and mechanistic studies suggest that air pollution is also affecting skin integrity. This state-of-the-art review focuses on this latter aspect; it was developed with the collaboration of European and Chinese board of experts with specific interests in environmental health, clinical and basic research in dermatology and cosmetic dermatology. A literature review limited to pollution and health effects and (sensitive) skin was performed using PubMed. Review and original articles were chosen. We summarize the existing scientific evidence that air pollution exerts detrimental effects on human skin, discuss potential clinical implications and suggest specific and unspecific cosmetic protective measures.

    Keywords: Pollution and Pollutants; Health Disorders; Medical Specialties;


    Krutmann, Jean, Wei Liu, Li Li, Xiaochuan Pan, Martha Crawford, Gabrielle Sore, and Sophie Seite. "Pollution and Skin: From Epidemiological and Mechanistic Studies to Clinical Implications." Journal of Dermatological Science 76, no. 3 (September 2014): 163–168.  View Details
Book Chapters
Cases and Teaching Materials
  1. The Bayer - Monsanto Merger: GMOs and 'Science for a Better Life'

    Martha J. Crawford and James Barnett

    In March 2018, Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer, considered the best way forward after a bid to acquire Monsanto in September 2016 remained in regulatory review due to concerns of Genetically Modified (GM) crops and industry consolidation.

    Keywords: Merger; acquisition; GMO; Genetically Modified crops; Neonics; Pesticides; Crop Seeds; EU; consolidation; Mergers and Acquisitions; Agribusiness; Genetics; Natural Environment; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Consolidation; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Europe; United States;


    Crawford, Martha J., and James Barnett. "The Bayer - Monsanto Merger: GMOs and 'Science for a Better Life'." Harvard Business School Case 318-075, April 2018.  View Details
Other Publications and Materials
  1. Vulnerability Assessment of Accelerated Sea Level Rise: Case Study: Majuro Atoll, Marshall islands

    P. Holthus, M. Crawford, C. Makroro and S. Sullivan


    Holthus, P., M. Crawford, C. Makroro, and S. Sullivan. "Vulnerability Assessment of Accelerated Sea Level Rise: Case Study: Majuro Atoll, Marshall islands." South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Apia, Western Samoa, December 1992. (Funded by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).)  View Details