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Mike Kerlin

Senior PartnerPhiladelphia

Mike Kerlin

Senior PartnerPhiladelphia

Leads McKinsey’s work in infrastructure finance globally and in North America. Works with investors—including infrastructure private equity funds, pension funds, and development banks—on fund strategy, deal identification and evaluation, and asset optimization. Also works with government and private sector developers on a wide range of infrastructure topics.

Mike is a leader in McKinsey’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure, Public Sector, and Organization Practices, and heads our work in infrastructure finance in North America and worldwide.

He has worked with numerous private, multilateral, and public sector investors and with private and public sector developers and operators to identify, evaluate, plan and implement major infrastructure projects in areas ranging from transportation, to energy, to water. He also works with equipment and technology companies that target the infrastructure space, and helps clients across all sectors invest in and develop environmentally sustainable infrastructure.

Recent examples of Mike’s client work include:

  • Leading a water sector scale-up strategy for a global development bank
  • Conducting sell-side diligence on a Latin American toll road asset for an infrastructure private equity fund
  • Developing the feasibility analysis, business plan, and financing strategy for one of the largest airports in the Western Hemisphere
  • Leading capital project prioritization and acceleration initiatives at three different state departments of transportation in the United States
  • Advising multiple engineering and construction companies on their strategy, organization, and operations
  • Advising multiple water equipment and technology companies on their strategies to expand their business with water utilities and industrial water users
  • Shaping a sustainable cities initiative across multiple sites in Latin America and the Caribbean, including identifying low-carbon development options for cities
  • Helping a US state design an “energy resilience bank” for critical infrastructure such as wastewater and transportation
  • Advising a government transportation agency on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for a critical transportation asset, including stakeholder analysis, risk analysis, and financial modeling

Mike is fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. Prior to joining McKinsey, he worked with Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation in urban development in inner-city Boston, with a focus on economic development initiatives. He currently serves on the McKinsey Global Institute’s advisory council on migration research.

Mike serves on the board of Leadership Philadelphia and lives in Center City Philadelphia with his wife and two children.

Published work

How economic-development organizations can seize funding opportunities,” McKinsey & Company, May 2022

Rural rising: Economic development strategies for America’s heartland,” McKinsey & Company, March 2022

The case for inclusive growth,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

Reimagining the postpandemic economic future,” McKinsey & Company, August 2020

Lessons from the past on how to revive the US economy after COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

How state and local governments win at attracting companies,” McKinsey & Company, September 2019

Making the most of US opportunity zones," McKinsey & Company, April 2019

Creating an effective workforce system for the new economy," McKinsey & Company, July 2018

Reseeding growth in the Garden State,” McKinsey & Company, July 2017

Creating an infrastructure bank: Principles of success,” McKinsey & Company, April 2017

The next generation of infrastructure,” McKinsey & Company, March 2016

Financing change: how to mobilize private sector financing for sustainable infrastructure,” (PDF–2 MB), McKinsey & Company, January 2016

New horizons for infrastructure investing,” McKinsey & Company, August 2015

Making the most of a wealth of infrastructure finance,” McKinsey & Company, June 2015

“Yin and Yang: managing at the nexus of water and energy,” McKinsey & Company, January 2010

“Investing in the blue revolution,” McKinsey & Company, January 2010

“Charting our water future: new economic frameworks to inform decision-makers,” McKinsey & Company, October 2009


Harvard University
MPA, international development and non-profit

Princeton University
BA, public and international affairs