Cynthia Shih

Director of Knowledge
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Cynthia is by nature a creative problem solver. A composer turned business consultant, Cynthia now leads strategy and knowledge for McKinsey.org’s Sustainable Communities initiative as part of its global leadership team.

Cynthia’s commitment to sustainability runs deep. While traveling the world on tour as a musician, she was struck by how seemingly invisible decisions could create vastly different outcomes for the environment and people’s quality of life – solar panels on every rooftop in one town, plastic waste clogging overflowing sewer systems in another. Spurred to work on these issues more directly, she left her music career to pursue a dual MBA/MS degree from the Ross School of Business and the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) at the University of Michigan. Following graduate school, Cynthia joined McKinsey & Company as a consultant where she drove work across multiple sustainability topics, including renewable energy transition, urban economic development and clean technologies. Her thought leadership has been featured in Green Biz and McKinsey & Company’s joint 2017 report with C40 on catalyzing climate action in cities.

Cynthia and her husband recently moved to Washington, DC from Boulder, Colorado, and enjoy hosting open-door events that bring together their creative and mission-driven communities.