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Dale Swartz

Works with startups, investors, and large organizations on growth strategy, business building, and geopolitical resilience in a dynamic global environment

Dale is a Partner in McKinsey’s Silicon Valley office and is a leader in our Aerospace & Defense, Semiconductor, and Strategy & Corporate Finance practices. He focuses on growth & innovation in strategic industries (e.g., defense, space, semiconductors, high tech) with evolving global dynamics. He also publishes extensively on trends and dynamics in those sectors.

Dale established McKinsey’s Defense Tech & Innovation Hub, which works with a range of investors and emerging players to build the next generation of disruptive dual-use ventures. He has led numerous strategic engagements for large defense & technology firms, business building efforts for startups, and dozens of transaction diligences and market analyses for investors.

Examples of his recent client work include the following:

  • Go-to-market strategy for defense startup entering commercial sector
  • Technology strategy for a U.S. defense leader
  • Corporate strategy for a global national security company
  • Geo-economic scenario-based planning for multiple firms in the semiconductor and tech sectors
  • Commercial business build sprints for leading defense player
  • Defense market entry strategy for a major commercial technology player
  • Due diligence, capital raise, and exit support for high tech ventures (recent examples include autonomy, edge computing, microelectronics, space-based communications, quantum, cleantech)

Prior to McKinsey, Dale served in several national security roles in government and public policy institutes in Washington, DC.

Published work

A rising wave of tech disruptors: The future of defense innovation?,” McKinsey & Company, February 2024

Scaling—and funding—next gen satellites for the coming commercial boom,” McKinsey & Company, March 2023

Government CHIPS on the table: How higher DOD microelectronics funding is here to stay,” McKinsey & Company, March 2023

2023 Report Card on the National Security Innovation Base,” Ronald Reagan Foundation & Institute, March 2023

A different space race: Raising capital and accelerating growth,” McKinsey & Company, November 2022

How will US funding for defense technology innovation evolve?” McKinsey & Company, November 2022

The CHIPS and Science Act: Here’s What’s In It,” McKinsey & Company, October 2022

Advancing American Innovation in the National Interest,” Aspen Strategy Group, May 2022

A Manufacturing Renaissance: Bolstering US Production for National Security and American Prosperity,” Ronald Reagan Foundation & Institute, November 2021


Yale University
MBA, finance & strategy

University of Cambridge, Trinity College
MPhil, East Asian Studies

Rice University
BA, international relations