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Christopher Thorne

Lecturer on Law

2022-2023

Christopher Thorne
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Chris Thorne is an authority on Business Law, Negotiation, and Private Equity Finance. He is an experienced global CEO and high-tech entrepreneur who has worked in leadership roles in a number of industries. Chris currently serves as the executive chairman and CEO of Broadline Capital, the global alternative investment firm that focuses primarily on late-stage venture, growth capital, and impact investments. Formed 18 years ago, Broadline has developed a track record of investing in category leaders or category creators that are positioned to excel as the economy is increasingly driven by the pursuit of a healthier, more efficient, and more sustainable way of life. 

In 2021, Mr. Thorne was appointed to the Harvard faculty, where he brings to the classroom what he has learned from 25 years of deal-making and business-building. He has applied his multidisciplinary approach to negotiation and collaborative problem-solving to a remarkable range of business deals, mergers & acquisitions, community initiatives, and projects involving both public and private corporations, including some of the most creative deals in the history of their categories. He was inducted into the Ohio Supreme Court State Bar in 1995, having passed the Bar on the first attempt. In a global attorney ratings and review system, Chris has been repeatedly recognized with the Highest Possible Attorney Rating (10.0) for multiple consecutive years.  

Previously, Chris served leadership roles at McKinsey & Company, the global strategic consultancy. He managed numerous high-impact strategic and operational engagements for Fortune 500 corporations and community pro bono initiatives. After excelling at McKinsey, he left the firm to pursue his entrepreneurial vision. His first company became a market-leading high-tech company that converted paper-based processes into paperless digital transactions throughout the entire supply chain in the food system. As its founder, chairman and CEO, Chris pioneered one of the first profitable SaaS business models while creating fundamental advances in many aspects of inter-enterprise solutions to improve traceability and supply chain efficiencies. He scaled the company, initiated a roll-up, and served as president of the combined company before achieving a quality exit on behalf of himself and his co-investors. After his company successfully sold to institutional investors, Chris formed Broadline Capital to support innovative, purpose-driven companies. 

When he was a student here three decades ago, Chris initiated positive changes across the university while serving as president of the university-wide student government. He became a protégé of five prominent Harvard scholars: Roger Fisher, Frank E.A. Sander, Robert Mnookin, Evon Z. Vogt, and Nitin Nohria. He also founded the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, served as Executive Editor for the International Law Journal, and served as the Training Director for the Harvard Meditation Clinical Program.

Chris holds three Harvard degrees. In addition to his Juris Doctor with Honors from Harvard Law School, he received his MBA from Harvard Business School (receiving final-year honors), and earned his Bachelor’s from Harvard College (graduating Magna Cum Laude), where he published the Unofficial Guide to Life at Harvard, served as Editor for the Harvard Crimson, and competed as a Division I athlete. Born and raised in the Midwest, Chris has worked, studied, or invested in five continents.