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Charag Krishnan

Associate Partner, New Jersey
Driving holistic transformations for higher-education institutions to enable financial sustainability, and supporting implementation of workforce-development programs

About Charag

Charag is an Associate Partner in McKinsey’s Education Practice. Charag helps higher education institutions change their trajectory through holistic transformations and works with clients on implementing workforce-development programs. His expertise includes strategies for improving enrollment, student success and retention, and administrative effectiveness.

Charag has supported transformations of a large, flagship state university in the United States and a midsize liberal arts college, helping these organizations identify areas of revenue growth through increased retention and enrollment rates alongside cost optimization. He also led the financial performance diagnostic for a large private, nonprofit university in the United States, helping inform its long-term growth strategy. In India, Charag supported the rollout and scale of Generation, an independent nonprofit founded by McKinsey to help to address the global issue of youth unemployment.

Prior to joining McKinsey in 2014, Charag worked as a UNICEF Innovation Unit Fellow, and was part of the founding cohort of the Teach for India Fellowship, where he served as a primary school teacher for grades 2 and 3 at a low-income municipal school. He also previously led corporate social-responsibility projects with school districts for a large state-owned petroleum company.

Published Work

COVID-19 and US higher education enrollment: Preparing leaders for fall,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

Best practices for an unusual US admissions cycle amid coronavirus,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Coronavirus: How should US higher education plan for an uncertain future?,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Universities 101: How universities can overcome financial headwinds to focus on their mission,” McKinsey & Company, 2019

Teach for India: Marketing an idea,” Kellogg Case Publishing and Harvard Business Publishing, 2014


Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
MBA (Youn Scholar, Tata Scholar, Mahindra Scholar)

National Institute of Technology, India
BTech, electronics (NTSE Scholar)