78: MIT Investment Management Co with Maureen McCaffrey

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Maureen McCaffrey is an experienced professional in the realms of construction, development, and investment management. She hails from a civil engineering background, having graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), where she nurtured a passion for the built environment. Initially forging her career in heavy construction, McCaffrey expanded her expertise into commercial real estate development. She currently serves as a Director at the MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCo), where she has been a key player in the life science innovation hub in East Cambridge and Kendall Square for over two decades. Maureen is also actively involved in women's leadership initiatives, specifically at WPI, where she's part of the Women's Impact Network.

Episode Summary:

In this engrossing episode of 'Design Development,' host Rens Hayes delves into the multifaceted world of real estate development with Maureen McCaffrey from MITIMCo. The expert discussion traverses through McCaffrey's storied career path, MIT's influential role in life sciences real estate, and broader insights into the challenges of higher education financing.

Maureen McCaffrey shares her journey from a civil engineering graduate to a leader managing endowments and real estate assets. With keen insights, she reveals how MITIMCo strategically nurtures the East Cambridge environment alongside the academic institution. As they touch on topics from heavy construction to life science real estate, a portrait of resilience within a fast-paced industry comes into focus. McCaffrey's active participation in Crew and the Women's Impact Network at WPI underscores her dedication to mentorship and female empowerment within the STEM fields.

Key Takeaways:

  • McCaffrey's transition from heavy construction to MITIMCo provides unique insights into the execution aspects of life science real estate development.
  • The discussion sheds light on the substantial financial requirements to run technology-focused universities, contrary to the common assumption that tuitions cover all costs.
  • Maureen emphasizes the value of trade skills in addition to higher education, pointing out the significance of practical expertise in building and maintaining infrastructure.
  • MITIMCo's strategic foresight positioned Kendall Square as a life science nexus, highlighting the interplay between education, industry growth, and community development.
  • Women's leadership and the need for more female representation in STEM are central to both Crew and WPI's Women's Impact Network—groups where Maureen plays an influential role.


  • Being Mortal (book by Atul Gawande)
  • The Exceptions (book)
  • Crew Network: CREW Network
  • Women's Impact Network at

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