Mahlon Apgar, IV

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Mahlon (Sandy) Apgar, IV, is an international authority on housing, infrastructure, and real estate, and principal of Apgar & Company, a strategic advisory firm specializing in large-scale corporate real estate and facilities. He is also a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and Senior Advisor on Real Estate to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). As a partner of BCG and McKinsey & Company, and founder of his own firm, he has served as consultant to many global corporations and to national government agencies in the US, UK, Saudi Arabia, and other countries.

President William Jefferson Clinton appointed Apgar Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations and Environment, with global responsibility for the Army's housing, real estate, and facilities.[1] During his service in the Clinton Administration from 1998 to 2001, he led the design and launch of the Army's Residential Communities Initiative (RCI) [2] to improve military housing. This program introduced a new strategy for the Army to partner with large-scale community developers in building and renovating family homes on Army posts. RCI has transformed the landscape of Army installations, and is now one of the federal government's largest asset privatization and public-private partnership programs.

Apgar began his real estate career with the visionary urbanist and developer, James W. Rouse, and assisted in opening the new city of Columbia, Maryland in 1967. He joined McKinsey in 1968 and transferred to London in 1970, where he helped build a UK and European public sector practice in housing, urban development, and local government; wrote urban guidelines (The Sunderland Study: Tackling Urban Problems) for the UK government, and advised a wide range of firms on real estate strategy and other issues. In 1974, he began an intensive five-year engagement in Saudi Arabia, led planning for Saudi Aramco's large-scale community development and infrastructure expansion, and was principal author of the blueprint that guided the Saudi Government's national urbanization strategy.

In 1997, Apgar patented a corporate real estate evaluation system known as the Apgar Real Estate Score [3]. From 2002 to 2006, he was a partner and director of BCG, where he established the Infrastructure and Real Estate practice. He became the firm’s Senior Advisor on Real Estate in 2007.

Apgar received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Dartmouth College in 1962, where he was a Choate Scholar and a Distinguished Military Graduate of Army ROTC; and an MBA degree from the Harvard Business School in 1968, where he was executive editor of The MBA magazine. He also studied the British new towns program at Oxford University from 1965 to 1966, which led to a career-long interest in community development. In 1962, he was commissioned in the US Army and served as a military intelligence officer in Germany until 1965.

Apgar is a Counselor of Real Estate, a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and a Governor of the Urban Land Institute Foundation. He has taught courses at Yale, Oxford, Princeton, and Harvard. He has edited two books, including New Perspectives on Community Development, authored more than 60 journal articles, including six in the Harvard Business Review, and in 2008 wrote a report entitled "The Promise of Public-Private Partnerships: Principles and Proposals for the Next President." [4]

Apgar received the Army's Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service, the first Chairman's Award of the President's Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the James Felt Award for Creative Counseling [5] and the William S. Ballard Award [6], both from the Counselors of Real Estate, and the Arthur A. May Award of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers.

He and his wife established an awards program for teachers and other professionals in 1982.


  • Woodrow Wilson International for Center Scholars – Senior Scholar Biography [7]
  • Oxford Said Business School – Associate Fellow Biography [8]
  • "The Alternative Workplace: Changing Where and How People Work," Harvard Business Review, May-June 1998, Vol. 76, No. 3, pp. 121-136.[9]
  • "Managing Real Estate to Build Value," Harvard Business Review, November-December 1995, Vol. 73, No. 6, pp. 162-179.[10]
  • Mastering Urban Growth: A Blueprint for Management, McKinsey International, Inc. for the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1978.
  • "New Business with the New Military" (with John M. Keane), Harvard Business Review, September 2004, Vol. 82, No. 9, pp. 45-56.[11]
  • New Perspectives on Community Development, London/New York: McGraw Hill, 1976. Editor. Author of Introduction; Chapter 4, "Guiding the Development Enterprise", pp. 77-98; Chapter 5, "Developing the Project Strategy", pp. 99-128; Chapter 6, "Planning for Community Management", pp. 129-156; Chapter 7, "Mastering Development Economics", pp. 157-187.
  • The Promise of Public-Private Partnerships: Principles and Proposals for the Next President, Report of the Forum on Privatization and Partnerships, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, August 2008. [12]
  • "Succeeding in Saudi Arabia," Harvard Business Review, January-February 1977, Vol. 55, No. 1.
  • The Sunderland Study: Tackling Urban Problems (Volume 1) and A Working Guide (Volume 2), Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1973.
  • "Uncovering Your Hidden Occupancy Costs," Harvard Business Review, May-June 1993, Vol. 71, No. 3, pp. 124-136. [13]

--LBell 17:25, 23 October 2008 (EDT)