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Tom Brennan

Helps established companies grow through innovation and business building, and start-ups scale across the chemical, food, and agriculture sectors

Tom is a partner in McKinsey’s Philadelphia office and a member of our Agriculture and Chemicals Practices. He is also involved in the firm’s innovation work.

He advises clients globally on industrial biotech topics ranging from gene editing to large-scale fermentation for diverse applications including alternative proteins, specialty chemicals, and bio-based agriculture inputs.

Some of his recent client work includes the following:

  • building a long-term strategy for a large R&D organization in a multinational chemicals and agriculture company
  • developing a go-to-market strategy and company roadmap for a pre-IPO biomaterials start-up
  • guiding the growth equity and M&A opportunities for investors and strategics

Prior to joining McKinsey, Tom was a laboratory researcher in renewable energy.


From bytes to bushels: How gen AI can shape the future of agriculture,” McKinsey & Company, June 2024

Seizing opportunities amid the agtech capital drought,” McKinsey & Company, March 2024

Striking the balance: Catalyzing a sustainable land-use transition,” McKinsey & Company, November 2023

Sustainable feedstocks: Accelerating recarbonization in chemicals,” McKinsey & Company, October 2023

The next wave: Alternative-seafood solutions,” McKinsey & Company, September 2023

How agtech start-ups can survive a capital drought,” McKinsey & Company, November 2022

Exploring cultivated meat,” McKinsey & Company, October 2021

The third wave of biomaterials: When innovation meets demand,” McKinsey & Company, November 2021

Cultivated meat: Out of the lab, into the frying pan,” McKinsey & Company, June 2021

Unlocking step change improvements in biologic fermentation,” McKinsey & Company, June 2021

Building an R&D strategy for modern times,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020


Stanford University
MS, PhD, chemical engineering

Princeton University
BSE, chemical engineering