W. Edward (Ed) Walter, a widely renowned real estate industry leader and most recently the Steers Chair in Real Estate at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, is the Global Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a global real estate organization with more than 40,000 members dedicated to responsible land use and creating thriving communities. Walter joined ULI’s executive team in June 2018.
As the Global CEO, Walter leads the implementation of ULI’s Global Strategic Plan, which includes delivering greater member value through technology investments to improve member connections and involvement with ULI; strengthening and broadening ULI’s member networks; and encouraging more philanthropic giving to expand ULI’s reach. The multi-year plan strives to strengthen member engagement and expand member impact in each of the three regions in which ULI has a presence – the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Walter brings to ULI more than 35 years of management experience in the real estate profession across a variety of disciplines including hotels, multifamily, and land development, with a strong emphasis on capital markets and investments. From 2007 through 2016, he served as Chief Executive Officer, President and Director of Host Hotels and Resorts, Inc., where he led a $19 billion-plus global lodging real estate investment trust (REIT) with a high-performing portfolio of more than 110 hotels around the world. Prior to becoming Host’s CEO, he served as the company’s Chief Financial Officer for more than four years and served in other executive roles at Host for seven years prior to being named the CFO. Walter’s service at Host overlapped with his four-year tenure at Georgetown, where he created and taught the Real Estate Public Equity course, which is designed to explore multiple aspects of REITs.
Before coming to Host, Walter served as an executive for several real estate organizations, including Bailey Capital Corporation in Washington, D.C., where he originated and restructured portfolios of multifamily assets; ZOM Communities in Orlando, Florida, where he worked in land development and sales, and multifamily development; and Trammell Crow Residential, where he was a partner in a number of developments.
Walter’s industry volunteer leadership experience is equally expansive, including roles at the Real Estate Roundtable (he currently co-chairs RER’s Research Committee); National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (he chaired NAREIT from 2012-2013); and the American Hotel and Lodging Association, which he helped guide through a strategic planning process while chairing its CEO Council. He is an active member and current chairman of the Federal City Council, a non-profit, non-partisan council of business, professional, education and civic leaders focused on solutions to urban growth challenges faced by the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. He is a Board member at Avalon Bay Communities and Ameriprise Financial. Previously, he was an active member of the National Kidney Foundation, having served as its Board Chairman, a National Director, and a member of its Executive Committee. He also served in leadership positions for the Foundation’s National Capital Area affiliate organization.