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Mekala Krishnan

McKinsey Global Institute PartnerBoston

Mekala Krishnan

McKinsey Global Institute PartnerBoston

Leads the McKinsey Global Institute’s research on gender economics, inclusive growth, and economic development

Dr. Mekala Krishnan is a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), McKinsey’s business and economics research arm.

Her research focuses on various topics related to inclusive growth and economic development, including climate risk, globalization, productivity growth in advanced economies, and women’s role in labor markets. Her most recent research focuses on the near-term impact of physical climate risk across sectors and geographies, including its implications for companies and countries. Her past research has focused on the future of globalization including the evolution of global value chains, prospects for emerging markets, and the impact of services trade, intangible assets, and digital globalization on value chains. Mekala is a frequent speaker on these topics at global conferences as well as with executives at Fortune 500 companies. She has authored numerous articles and her work has been cited in leading business publications.

Mekala is a member of a task force at the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings focused on improving productivity measurement. She also serves on an advisory board for the Sibley School of Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University and is a board member of the Global Fund for Women, a leading public foundation dedicated to improving global gender equality.

Previously, Mekala worked as a consultant for McKinsey’s advanced-industries group, where she focused on innovation, strategy, and operations projects for engineering clients.

Mekala received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University in 2011. Prior to Cornell, she received a Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2006 from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi.

Published work

Mobility’s net-zero transition: A look at opportunities and risks,” McKinsey & Company, April 2022

Climate change: What we will need to spend, and what we will need to change, to reach net zero,” Fortune, March 2022

Taking the first steps toward net-zero emissions,” McKinsey Global Institute, March 2022

"The net-zero transition: What it would cost, what it could bring," McKinsey & Company, January 2022 

Protecting people from a changing climate: The case for resilience,” McKinsey & Company, November 2021

Solving the net-zero equation: Nine requirements for a more orderly transition,” McKinsey & Company, October 2021

Getting tangible about intangibles: The future of growth and productivity,” McKinsey Global Institute, June 2021

Climate change hits the poor hardest. Here's how to protect them,” World Economic Forum, October 2020

Climate risk and response in Asia,” McKinsey Global Institute, November 2020

Ten things to know about gender equality,” McKinsey Global Institute, September 2020

Don't let the pandemic set back gender equality,” Harvard Business Review, September 2020

Will infrastructure bend or break under climate stress?,” McKinsey Global Institute, August 2020

Risk, resilience, and rebalancing in global value chains,” McKinsey Global Institute, August 2020

Banking system resilience in the time of COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, August 2020

COVID-19 and gender equality: Countering the regressive effects,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

Reduced dividends on natural capital?,” McKinsey Global Institute, June 2020

Leading the battle against climate change: Actions for China,” McKinsey Global Institute, June 2020

A Mediterranean basin without a Mediterranean climate?,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2020

How will African farmers adjust to changing patterns of precipitation?,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2020

Will the world's breadbaskets become less reliable?,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2020

Confronting climate risk,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2020

Will mortgages and markets stay afloat in Florida?,” McKinsey Global Institute, April 2020

Can coastal cities turn the tide on rising flood risk?,” McKinsey Global Institute, April 2020

Climate risk and response: Physical Hazards and socioeconomic impacts,” McKinsey Global Institute, January 2020

The power of parity: Advancing women's equality in Africa,” McKinsey Global Institute, November 2019

Will automation improve work for women or make it worse?,” Harvard Business Review, July 2019

What automation means for the gender gap,” Project Syndicate, June 2019

The future of women at work: Transitions in the age of automation,” McKinsey Global Institute, June 2019

A new look at the declining labor share of income in the United States,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2019

Accelerating gender parity: What can governments do?,” McKinsey & Company, January 2019

Globalization in transition: The future of trade and value chains,” McKinsey Global Institute, January 2019

Solving the United Kingdom’s productivity puzzle in a digital age,” McKinsey Global Institute, September 2018

How can digital technology speed up gender equality?,” Equals, July 2018

The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in Asia Pacific,” McKinsey Global Institute, April 2018

Solving the productivity puzzle: The role of demand and the promise of digitization,” McKinsey Global Institute, February 2018

The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in Canada,” McKinsey Global Institute, June 2017

The productivity puzzle: A closer look at the United States,” McKinsey Global Institute, March 2017

Urban world: Meeting the demographic challenge,” McKinsey Global Institute, October 2016

The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in the United Kingdom,” McKinsey Global Institute, September 2016

Bracing for a new era of lower investment returns,” McKinsey on Finance, July 2016

Delivering the power of parity: Toward a more gender-equal society,” McKinsey Global Institute, May 2016

Diminishing returns: Why investors may need to lower their expectations,” McKinsey Global Institute, April 2016

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

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

The power of parity: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth,” McKinsey Global Institute, September 2015

From poverty to empowerment: India’s imperative for jobs, growth, and effective basic services,” McKinsey Global Institute, February 2014


Women business owners were hit hardest by COVID-19,” Thomas Reuters Foundation, February 2021


Cornell University
PhD, MS, mechanical engineering

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
BS, mechanical engineering