Meet Our New Faculty: Chris de Mestre
Meet Chris de Mestre, one of the newest faculty members in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. He joined the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration as a professor of practice of applied economics and policy. Learn more about de Mestre’s areas of expertise, research focus, courses he is teaching, and other interests in this Q&A.
Chris de Mestre | Professor of Practice | Nolan School
What are your research and teaching areas of focus?
I have recently joined the new Paul Rubacha Department of Real Estate at Cornell in a part time Professor of Practice role. My initial focus will be on private equity real estate and real estate investment management.
What class(es) will you be teaching this year?
In the fall, I will be teaching a new course in private equity real estate. The goal is to provide students with a practical insight as to how the private equity real estate funds industry works and draw on industry practitioners to share their experience with the students.
What attracted you to the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, and the Nolan School specifically?
Having graduated from Cornell with a masters degree in real estate back in 2007, I am excited to return to Ithaca and join the faculty. The opportunities that were presented to me as a Cornell graduate were transformative, and enable me to pursue and diverse and fulfilling career. I am keen to support the current students as they make their own paths and to ensure they also embrace the opportunities that follow their studies.
When did you know you wanted to be a professor?
I have always found mentoring a team to be the most reward aspect of any job I have had. As a student at Cornell, I always valued the input from the extensive network of industry professionals and so when the opportunity came up to join faculty as a Professor of Practice, I viewed it as an amazing chance to “give back” to the current students at Cornell.
What’s the best book you’ve read this year?
Our Lives in Their Portfolios: Why asset managers own the world by Brett Christophers is an insightful take on the rise of the asset management industry and its growing dominance of key infrastructure and assets globally since the GFC. It raises key questions over the custodianship of long-term investments in social infrastructure and the lack of transparency within the sector.
What do you do to recharge?
For the past few years, I have been a keen gardener, restoring gardens in southeast England. In Ithaca, I hope to develop a native garden as we are adjacent one of Cornell Botanical Gardens’ nature reserves. I am also eager to get back to sports and spend more time with my family hiking and exploring the natural beauty of upstate New York.