Global Chairman

Global Chairman

Owen D. Thomas

Owen D. Thomas, chief executive officer of Boston Properties, was  elected as the new global chairman of the Urban Land Institute on July 1, 2019.

The ULI global chairman guides the Institute’s delivery of member value and mission-oriented work, with an overarching goal of positioning ULI as the leading global real estate organization that attracts and retains top industry leaders; the leading authority on real estate and the “go-to” place for industry information and expertise; and the provider of solutions to the most complex real estate and urban development problems faced by cities around the world.

Thomas, who has been a ULI member for more than 30 years, has a strong record of volunteerism with ULI. In addition to his service as a governing trustee and a ULI Foundation governor, he currently is a member of the Technology and Real Estate Council. From 2013 to 2016, he chaired and was a member of the Global Strategy Committee, which help guide ULI’s global governance restructuring initiative.

As the CEO and a director of Boston Properties, a real estate investment trust, Thomas oversees one of the largest owners, managers and developers of Class A office properties in the United States, with a significant presence in five markets: Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC. The company’s portfolio totals more than 51 million square feet and consists of 196 properties (including 11 properties under construction/redevelopment).

Thomas is a director of Lehman Brothers Holdings and served as its first chairman from 2012 until March 2013.  Prior to his service at Lehman, Thomas held various leadership positions at Morgan Stanley for 24 years, including service from 2008 through 2011 as the CEO of Morgan Stanley Asia. While based in Hong Kong, Thomas was instrumental in helping to raise ULI’s visibility and increase the Institute’s membership in Asia Pacific; and he served on a panel of ULI leaders and industry experts convened by the Institute to advise the government of Hong Kong on repurposing the Kai Tak airport. He was also was president of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, head of Morgan Stanley Real Estate, and chairman of Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities; and he served on Morgan Stanley’s Management Committee from 2005 until 2011.

Thomas is an officer of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and member of its executive board. He is a director of the Real Estate Roundtable and a former chairman of the Pension Real Estate Association.