September 25, 2018
Lean Enterprise Institute Names Eric Buehrens as CEO

Eric Buehrens
October 12, 2017 — The Lean Enterprise Institute, a Cambridge nonprofit that researches, teaches, and organizes conferences on lean thinking and practice, recently announced that it has named Eric Buehrens as its new chief executive officer.

Buehrens succeeds John Shook, who will remain active as chairman of the board of directors of Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI).

“I couldn’t be happier to have Eric come on board as LEI’s new CEO,” Shook said. “He brings unique perspectives and talents to the CEO job from his leadership and continuous improvement work in diverse industries. I look at this not so much as a transition but an augmentation of LEI’s capabilities.”

Described as "a proven lean thinker and leader," Buehrens led lean transformations at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he served as chief operating officer and interim CEO, and at Reliant Medical Group, a Massachusetts group medical practice, where he was COO.

Buehrens also has executive experience in the engineering, government, and higher education fields. He served as deputy provost for administration at Harvard University; president of Tighe & Bond International, Inc., an engineering firm; and as vice president of US Water, LLC, a joint venture of Bechtel Enterprises and North West Water (UK).

As an executive with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, he built $150 million in facilities on time and on budget for the clean-up of Boston Harbor.

Buehrens is board treasurer of the nonprofit Center for the Study of Groups and Social Systems. Past board service includes terms at Harvard Medical Collaborative and the Medical, Academic, Scientific Community Organization, Inc. He has advised healthcare startup companies and was active in the civic life of Brookline, serving as chair of the town’s fiscal policy review committee.

Buehrens is a graduate of Harvard College, and worked as a ship fitter and union organizer before beginning his professional career in state government.

Commenting on his new role, Shook said, “I’m more stoked about this new role than anything else I’ve undertaken. As long as I’ve been on my lean journey, the Lean Enterprise Institute has been the iconic touchstone of learning.”

Founded in 1997, by management expert James Womack, PhD, LEI conducts research, teaches educational workshops, publishes books and ebooks, organizes conferences, and shares practical information about lean thinking and practice. The fundamental idea of lean thinking and practice is to maximize customer value while minimizing waste.

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