Rebuilders of the backbone: Executive leadership for infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships

As public-private partnerships increasingly provide financing and expertise to build infrastructure, specific leadership skills are critical at each phase.

U.S. infrastructure projects are attracting more public-private partnerships (P3s) as sources of capital and management expertise for building everything from bridges and tunnels to airports and seaports. In addition to financing, each critical phase of the project—design, construction, commercialization, and ongoing operation and maintenance—requires new and specific leadership skills. Having the right leadership in place at the right time and in the optimal combination can mean the difference between success and failure for all stakeholders.

P3s, however, face a human capital challenge: scarce talent with the appropriate experience. P3s need to recruit executive leaders who can navigate the complexity and nuances of the public sector, while driving execution and generating returns to meet the needs of private investors. Rather than searching solely in the public-sector talent pool, which may be unfamiliar with the demands and expectations of private-sector investors, P3s have to cast a wide net to find the leaders and teams that can operate in this emerging space.

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