Sarah Abrams ('85) inducted into CoreNet Distinguished Leaders Circle in 2019 - MIT Center for Real Estate

Sarah Abrams (’85) inducted into CoreNet Distinguished Leaders Circle in 2019

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Sarah K. Abrams CoreNet Global Distinguished Leader Circle 2019

“CoreNet Global announced in 2019 its inductees into its Distinguished Leaders Circle: Sarah K. Abrams and T. Patrick Donnelly, MCR.h. These corporate real estate (CRE) thought leaders were honored in an induction ceremony at the CoreNet Global Summit Recognition Dinner in Anaheim, Calif., on October 22, 2019. The Distinguished Leaders Circle is designed to pay tribute to those members who have demonstrated a lifetime of leadership that has helped define and shape the corporate real estate profession through their body of work. While CoreNet Global has a number of awards based upon individual or group performance, this recognition is deemed the highest honor to be bestowed upon a member. To learn more about the Distinguished Leaders Circle, its selection criteria and application process,


In any profession, change happens when just one individual does something differently. A better outcome is reached and an effective conduit helps spread the word. The new model takes hold virally, successes multiply, and a new “best practice” is fully engaged. In the world of corporate real estate (CRE), chalk up quite a few of those new best practices to CoreNet Global Distinguished Leader Sarah K. Abrams.

“If I could only use two words to describe Sarah it would be, ‘human sparkler,’ ” said Cynthia Keliher, who nominated Abrams for the recognition. Keliher, a partner with McCarter & English and co-chair of the law firm’s real estate practice group, met Abrams through mutual friends and interests in Boston some 35 years ago. They remain close friends. In detailing Abrams’ accomplishments, Keliher noted two examples of Abrams’ efforts that ushered in significant changes to the way CRE functioned at her organization at that time. One, making location decisions based on considerations around available talent or labor rather than real estate costs alone and, two, prioritizing workforce initiatives from both the demand and supply sides.

“(Her) contribution to the profession is so notable because it has become a mainstream approach in the industry,” Keliher wrote. “Her passion for sharing these insights and new approaches has helped change the way economic developers promote their communities, has changed the way companies choose their locations, and has changed the way corporate real estate organizations think about their client-engagement model.” “She’s been a pioneer in so many ways,” said Chris Horblit, citing Abrams’ groundbreaking approaches, also, to strategic outsourcing, sustainability and wellness. As vice president of workplace services at apparel and home-fashions retailer TJX, Horblit met Abrams when she hired him from Fidelity Investment’s Business Risk group into the company’s real estate division that she led. Ultimately, thanks to the career-development skills Abrams impart on others, Horblit was next up for the role of president of Fidelity Real Estate when Abrams left that position to join information- and assets-management company Iron Mountain. She now serves as Iron Mountain’s senior vice president and head of global real estate and teaches Corporate Real Estate at MIT Center for Real Estate.”

READ MORE FROM CORENET GLOBAL: CoreNet Global Distinguished Leaders Circle Inductee Publication, 2019. /wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Distinguished-leader-2019.FINAL_.pdf

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Sarah Abrams (’85) inducted into CoreNet Distinguished Leaders Circle in 2019