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John Means

Partner, Washington DC
Builds sustainable, thriving communities with real-estate executives, infrastructure developers, and government and civil-society leaders.

About John

John leads McKinsey’s real-estate work in North America, working across sectors to boost economic, social, and environmental outcomes in communities through improved development and planning. He has worked at all levels of government and with private investors, developers, designers, and construction firms on more than $150 billion in real-estate and infrastructure projects and programs across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America.

John helps real-estate organizations to develop strategies, transform their businesses, and deliver strong results in their capital programs.

Examples of John’s recent client work include the following:

  • developing strategies for leading global philanthropies focused on improving the lives of city residents around the world
  • crafting the growth strategy and project-development plan for a $5 billion city-center redevelopment—including defining its economic, social, and environmental objectives; optimizing its financial strategy; and designing its project-delivery approach
  • creating the development strategy and project-execution plan for a $6 billion mass-transit project—including the reduction of capital costs by 20 percent and alignment with community-development goals
  • increasing clinical effectiveness while reducing capital-project costs for public and private healthcare institutions—for example, by engaging with clinicians, contractors, and designers to improve hospital facilities, such as emergency departments and operating suites
  • enhancing the real-estate portfolio-strategy and program-delivery processes for US federal and state agencies to improve the alignment of their capital programs with overall mission performance
  • developing the global growth strategy and operating model for a top real-estate services firm

John serves on the advisory board of the Global Parliament of Mayors and on the board of directors for Inscape Publico, a not-for-profit architecture firm helping other not-for-profits achieve their missions. He has also provided pro-bono community-development, design, and construction services in East Africa and Haiti. John speaks regularly at global forums on strategy in real estate, infrastructure, and urban development.

Before joining McKinsey, John worked in capital-project delivery at Skanska, where he held roles in project-management, controls, and innovation programs across business units. He is a licensed professional engineer.

Published work

Getting ahead of the market: How big data is transforming real estate,” McKinsey & Company, October 2018

The power of collective action: Forging a global role for mayors,” McKinsey & Company, June 2016


Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina

Duke University
BSc, engineering; certificate, architectural engineering