Chris Holmes serves as the global water security expert for Boston Consulting Group’s Social Impact practice and leads the firm’s sustainability work. His focus is on strengthening the environmental, public health, and economic development impact of public and private sector organizations in the U.S., as well as developing countries. 

At BCG, Chris’s assignments have included supporting teams concerned with the performance of water and wastewater utilities, hazardous and solid waste management, commercialization of water treatment and disaster assessment technology; improving the total societal impact of agribusiness companies; the implementation of international economic development programs; improving the performance of development finance institutions; and developing public-private partnerships. 

Before coming to the firm, Chris most recently served at the U.S. Agency for International Development as global water coordinator and deputy assistant administrator for natural resource management. He was responsible for leading the agency’s five-year, $2 billion water supply and sanitation program. He also held two U.S. Senate-confirmed positions at USEPA, including as the agency's third-ranking member in his capacity as the EPA’s chief financial officer. Other previous positions include: director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, acting director of USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Refugee Programs. 

In the private sector, Chris was executive director for environment, health, and safety at Tenneco Inc., a conglomerate in the manufacturing and energy sectors, and vice president for EHS, Tenneco Energy. Chris served as a Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Reserves, and is a recipient of the U.S. Army Soldiers Medal for Heroism.


  • Social impact focus: environmental protection, international economic development, humanitarian assistance, climate change adaptation, water, sanitation, waste water management, sustainable agriculture, health, and energy
  • Environmental protection and environmental due diligence humanitarian assistance, refugee assistance, international disaster assistance
  • Hazardous waste and solid waste management
  • International economic development and humanitarian assistance
  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)
  • Private-public partnerships
  • Trade and economic development
  • Global public health
  • Nutrition, agriculture, and food security
  • Crisis management


  • Honorary MA, in recognition of achievements in international economic development, Wesleyan University
  • BA, political science and government, Wesleyan University


  • United States Army Soldier’s Medal for Heroism, The President of the United States of America
  • Gold medal, United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • Presidential Meritorious Service award, USAID
  • Arthur S. Fleming Award, George Washington University
Deep Expertise, Broad Experience