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John Means

Leads sustainable, inclusive growth with real estate investors, developers, occupiers, and services companies

John is a partner and the cofounder of our Real Estate Practice, where he leads boards, CEOs, and senior executives in improving the performance of investment portfolios, corporate real estate, and development programs including office, housing, mixed use, complex healthcare, and life science across six continents. John is committed to leveraging real estate to catalyze sustainable, inclusive growth and promote productivity, inclusivity, wellness, and sustainability across communities.

John works with real estate firms, services groups, and technology companies to transform businesses and develop new products. He guides institutions designing the “future of work” to achieve higher performance through improved workplace experience, technology solutions, and more efficient real estate portfolios. He develops “city scale” real estate and infrastructure programs, casting the vision for how complex, mixed-use assets can meet evolving community and business demands, building partnerships to support economic development, and designing the operating model to accelerate execution.

John collaborates with peer executive networks to drive global impact. He recently helped launch an annual gathering of leading real estate executives to pursue shared action on disruption, talent, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. John also helped launch the Greater Washington Partnership, a not-for-profit community organization that develops common strategies to address regional needs in infrastructure, workforce, and economic development. He joined the Urban Land Institute to explore technology innovations with the potential to transform end-user experiences and real estate operations, and currently serves on the advisory board for Miriam’s Kitchen, a group which aims to eliminate chronic homelessness.

Prior to McKinsey, John worked as project development leader in healthcare, life-science, and civic-construction programs across the United States, and is also a licensed professional engineer.

Published work

Building the office of the future,” McKinsey & Company, April 2023

Reimagining the future of financial-services headquarters,” McKinsey & Company, May 2022

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

Smart cities, Digital solutions for a more livable future,” McKinsey & Company, June 2018

Past experience

Construction project manager and cofounder, global innovation program


UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
MBA, strategy and innovation

Duke University
BS, engineering
Nondegree certificate, architectural engineering