About Jonathan

Based in China since 1985, Dr. Jonathan Woetzel has been instrumental in building McKinsey & Company's China office. In addition to his work helping Chinese and other Asian businesses prepare for global growth, Jonathan is a director of the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), McKinsey's business and economics research arm. He also leads McKinsey's Cities Special Initiative and is responsible for convening McKinsey's work with city, regional, and national authorities in more than 40 geographies around the world. He is a co-chair of the non-profit think tank, the Urban China Initiative—a joint venture of Columbia University, Tsinghua University, and McKinsey—that aims to develop and implement solutions to China's urbanization challenges.

Jonathan has led numerous research efforts on global economic trends, including growth and productivity, urbanization, affordable housing, energy and sustainability, e-commerce, and the economic impact of the Internet, as well as on productivity growth and economic development in China and Asia.

Jonathan's public sector work is extensive. He has advised national governments in Asia on improving the environment for foreign investors, national energy policy, and economic development strategies. He also leads work with local government authorities, having conducted more than 60 projects throughout China to support local economic development and transformation. This includes working extensively in real estate—specifically, on commercial revitalization—and advising on energy investment strategies and energy productivity and transparency, among other topics.

Jonathan works in the private sector as well, most often on topics related to corporate strategy, operations, and organization. He has served clients in industries such as energy, metals and mining, health care, telecommunications, and transportation. He supported the largest company in China in a fundamental restructuring that led to the then-largest foreign listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Jonathan actively participates in a number of international forums and lectures at the Guanghua School of Business and the China-Europe International Business School, and is also an honorary lecturer at Jiaotong University's Antai Business School.

Published widely in both Chinese and international publications, Jonathan has written five books on China, including Capitalist China: Strategies for a Revolutionized Economy (Wiley & Sons, 2003), Operation China: From Strategy to Execution (Harvard Business Press, 2007), and One Hour China (Towson Press, 2013). He has also co-authored, with Richard Dobbs and James Manyika, No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends (PublicAffairs, May 2015).

A US citizen, Jonathan is proficient in Mandarin, Spanish, and German.


"China's next chapter: The infrastructure and environmental challenge," McKinsey Quarterly, June 2013

Selected published work

Reinventing construction through a productivity revolution,” McKinsey Global Institute, February 2017

"How technology is reshaping supply and demand for natural resources," McKinsey Global Institute, February 2017

"Global migration’s impact and opportunity," McKinsey Global Institute, November 2016

"Closing California’s housing gap," McKinsey Global Institute, October 2016

"Urban world: Meeting the demographic challenge in cities," McKinsey Global Institute, October 2016

"Meeting China’s productivity challenge," McKinsey Global Institute, August 2016

"Poorer than their parents? A new perspective on income inequality," McKinsey Global Institute, July 2016

"Bridging global infrastructure gaps," McKinsey Global Institute, June 2016

"Realizing gender equality’s $12 trillion economic opportunity," McKinsey Global Institute, May 2016

"The power of parity: Advancing women's equality in the United States," McKinsey Global Institute, April 2016

"Urban world: The global consumers to watch," McKinsey Global Institute, March 2016

"Digital globalization: The new era of global flows," McKinsey Global Institute, February 2016

"The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in India," McKinsey Global Institute, November 2015

"The new global competition for corporate profits," McKinsey Global Institute, September 2015

"How advancing women's equality can add $12 trillion to global growth," McKinsey Global Institute, September 2015

"Unlocking the future: The keys to making cities great," McKinsey & Company, June 2015

"Building the cities of the future with green districts," McKinsey & Company, May 2015

"Why China's consumers will continue to surprise the world," McKinsey & Company, May 2015

No ordinary disruption: The four global forces breaking all the trends, PublicAffairs, May 2015

"How do you govern a disrupted world?," McKinsey Global Institute, May 2015

"The four global forces breaking all the trends," McKinsey Global Institute, April 2015

"How a private-sector transformation could revive Japan," McKinsey Global Institute, March 2015

"How Asia can boost productivity and economic growth," McKinsey Global Institute, March 2015

"Debt and (not much) deleveraging," McKinsey Global Institute, February 2015

"Where to look for global growth," McKinsey Quarterly, January 2015

"Can long-term global growth be saved?," McKinsey Global Institute, January 2015

"Is GDP the best measure for growth?," McKinsey Global Institute, January 2015

"Three paths to sustained economic growth in Southeast Asia," McKinsey Global Institute, November 2014

"Tackling the world's affordable housing challenge," McKinsey Global Institute, October 2014

"A productivity perspective on the future of growth," McKinsey Quarterly, September 2014

"China's digital transformation," McKinsey Global Institute, July 2014

"All you need to know about business in China," McKinsey & Company, April 2014

"Urban world: The shifting global business landscape," McKinsey Global Institute, October 2013

"How to make a city great," McKinsey & Company, September 2013

"Chinese infrastructure: The big picture," McKinsey Quarterly, June 2013

"What's next for China?" McKinsey Quarterly, January 2013

"What China's five-year plan means for business," McKinsey Quarterly, July 2011

"A truer picture of China's export machine," McKinsey Quarterly, September 2010

"Making the most of Chinese aid to Africa," McKinsey Quarterly, June 2010

"China and the US: The potential of a clean-tech partnership," McKinsey Quarterly, August 2009

"If you've got it, spend it: Unleashing the Chinese consumer," McKinsey Global Institute, August 2009

"China's green opportunity," McKinsey Quarterly, February 2009

"China's green revolution," McKinsey China, August 2009

"Preparing for China's urban billion," McKinsey Global Institute, March 2008


University of Southern California
PhD, political science

University of Southern California
MA, political science

University of Southern California
BA, humanities and liberal arts