Georgia Tech Welcomes Back Chris Gaffney: A Story of Leadership and Commitment

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As we tap into the new year, alumnus Chris Gaffney (BSIE ’85, MSIE ’86) steps into his role as the Managing Director of the Supply Chain and Logistics Institute (SCL) and the Academic Program Director for Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE). With expertise in the field, his return to Georgia Tech welcomes fresh methods and inspiration to enhance the program's supply chain operations. Having earned both his degrees from the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), Gaffney's journey intertwines deeply with the institution’s growth and impact.

Gaffney’s Return

"For the most part, I've only lived in two places in my life…growing up in DC and then living in Atlanta, I was very fortunate to choose Georgia Tech for both my bachelor's and master’s in industrial engineering." Throughout the years, Gaffney was involved in the community serving on the ISyE Advisory Board, Supply Chain and Logistics Industry Advisory Board, and the Mentees Program at Georgia Tech. Influenced by the ISyE community, Gaffney aims to reciprocate the school’s impact by leveraging his experiences from the Coca-Cola Company to enhance the program. In his new role, Chris wants to continue driving cross-collaboration with SCL partnerships. “Georgia Tech is on the leading edge of the advancements in supply chain and logistics, so I'm hopeful that part of what we could do more of in SCL is help companies access more of that, faster.” Additionally, Gaffney believes there’s an increasing urgency to advancing and “bringing people the type of learning in a way that they can grow their own professional capabilities [and become more multidisciplinary].”

Leadership in Logistics

Gaffney's professional journey began at Frito-Lay, where he navigated operational intricacies as a logistics analyst, later advancing to operations manager. Subsequently, he honed his expertise in international logistics and strategic supply chain management at AJC International and the Coca-Cola Company. Gaffney's tenure at Coca-Cola, spanning over two decades as the Director of National Distribution, and then VP of Transportation for US Coke, epitomizes his commitment to collaboration and innovation. "Coca-Cola taught me the importance of understanding how collaboration works within large enterprises and across companies." Internally, he also served in positions as President of Coca-Cola Supply, and as the President of the National Product Supplied Group, for the US Bottlers. For Gaffney, the journey wasn't just about personal success but about paving pathways for others, bridging the gap in the field between inspiration and accessibility. 

Accessibility Through Collaboration

“-- A big part for me is this idea of, how do you bring the promise of the digital age of supply chain and make it accessible to more and more companies and people?” With the benefit of staying local, Gaffney supported driving academic, and corporate impact through collaboration – specifically towards initiatives aimed at increasing student co-ops, and full-time employment opportunities between Georgia Tech and the Coca-Cola Company. With mentorship serving as a cornerstone in Gaffney’s professional landscape, he believes in advocating for the transformative power of supportive relationships. “[My mentor] would make sure I was on track…it was a much smaller situation then, but it made a huge difference for me, and I never forgot about that -- I've had some really critical mentors early in my career, so I'm a big believer in mentoring and coaching.”

Yellow Jacket Trajectory

Gaffney’s ties to Georgia Tech, spanning decades of investment, characterize a lifelong commitment to growth and service. The motivation and influence instilled during his time at Tech transferred to his life in more ways than one. Chris met his wife at Georgia Tech and has been married for over 30 years; with four adult children, including one being a GT graduate in the field of Supply Chain. Even in hardship, Gaffney’s family is passionate about doing all they can, including relentlessly supporting one of their own as a childhood cancer survivor. They’re also heavily involved philanthropically, specifically in raising money for research on childhood cancer, “we believe that we have a responsibility to do what we can.” As Gaffney shared his final thoughts, he leaves us with a hopeful view, channeled in the moments where he started the beginnings of his career – back on Georgia Tech campus.


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Andy Haleblian
  • Created:02/29/2024
  • Modified By:Andy Haleblian
  • Modified:02/29/2024



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