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Navjot Singh

Senior PartnerBoston

Drives innovation at the intersection of science, engineering, medicine, business, and government. Combines expertise in strategy, operations, and business development to support pharmaceutical companies, investors, regulatory agencies, and public-sector organizations.


Nav leads the state and local work for our Public Sector Practice in North America. He is also a leader in our Life Sciences and Strategy & Corporate Finance Practices, with a focus on innovation. Nav brings deep business expertise in strategy, innovation, operations, business development, and risk to all his client engagements. An expert in the use of Six Sigma methodologies for product development and process design, Nav holds 15 patents.

He works with pharmaceutical companies to enhance R&D productivity, with contract-research organizations to strengthen performance, and with private-equity players that invest in a variety of science- and medicine-intensive areas. He also works with public-sector organizations to refine strategy and operations.

Nav spearheads McKinsey’s knowledge initiatives on R&D productivity in the pharmaceutical industry and leads our Center for Asset Optimization. His recent government work has included helping regulators, states, and cities enhance their performance across the board. He has served as the Chair of the Board for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and the Chair of the External Advisory Board of University of Minnesota, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. He also hosts Imagine Get-Togethers that convene cross-sector leaders on cutting-edge topics, such as synthetic biology, commercial applications of drones, the future of space exploration, and the impact of aging.

Before joining McKinsey, in 2001, Nav was a laboratory manager at General Electric, where he helped to design manufacturing processes and to develop new polymetric materials and nanomaterials.

Published work

Speed and resilience: Five priorities for the next five months,” McKinsey & Company, March 2021

The next phase of COVID-19 is a battle we can win,” McKinsey & Company, February 2021

An optimistic scenario for the US response to COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, September 2020

An experiment to inform universal basic income,” McKinsey & Company, September 2020

How to rebuild and reimagine jobs amid the coronavirus crisis,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Crisis nerve centers: Supporting governments’ responses to coronavirus,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

An engineering approach to derisking R&D for novel drug modalities,” McKinsey & Company, September 2019

Fiscal resilience: Tools to manage state budgets in an age of uncertainty,” McKinsey & Company, September 2019

How to lead a successful government transition,” McKinsey & Company, November 2018

To tackle urban problems, city governments have to get smarter,” GovTech, July 2018

Delivering for citizens: How to triple the success rate of government transformations, McKinsey & Company, May 2018

High-performing US states: Is there a secret to success?,” McKinsey & Company, February 2018

Realizing the potential of CRISPR,” McKinsey & Company, January 2017

Exploring the disruptive potential of synthetic biology,” McKinsey & Company, June 2016

What's driving the surge in new drug approvals?,” McKinsey & Company, November 2013

New frontiers in pharma R&D investment,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2010

Past experience

General Electric
R&D manager

General Electric
Staff scientist


University of Minnesota
PhD, chemical engineering

Rensselaer Polytechnic University

Indian Institute of Technology
BTech, chemical engineering and engineering