Federico di Penta

Regional Director, Latin America
Federico di Penta headshot
Federico is a passionate environmentalist who has been exploring the link between sustainable waste management systems and social development for almost ten years, working across Africa, Latin America and Asia.

After starting his career in management consulting for the public sector, he became increasingly interested in waste management as a means to both reduce the environmental impact of anthropogenic activities and as a key opportunity for empowering vulnerable groups in lower income countries. 

As part of the global leadership team, Federico is supporting the development of self-sustaining waste management systems that can be replicated across Latin America and beyond, initially starting in wonderful Buenos Aires and Argentina, a city and country he has loved since his time there as a student.    

Federico has been cleaning beaches with his family since he could walk and has been diving to recover fishing nets, used engine batteries, tyres and pretty much any other form of litter for over two decades. His passion for marine conservation has brought him to the realization that in order to rid the ocean of plastic and other pollutants, we need to work upstream to prevent waste from ending up in waterways in the first place, or ideally prevent waste from being produced altogether.

As part of this work, he led in the development and approval of two national policies in Italy, banning the sale of cosmetics containing micro plastics and non-compostable cotton swabs. Federico has also advised numerous municipal and national governments in the global south to support them in the implementation of new waste management systems, enabling him to develop a thorough understanding of the entire waste management cycle, including waste policy and waste infrastructure development, waste collection and disposal, public private partnerships, waste finance and global recycling markets. His experience in the sector has brought him to the conclusion that the 'solutions' to waste management in global south areas are decentralized systems managed by local communities in partnership with local and national governments, which is the main reason he joined McKinsey.org

Federico considers himself a curious and flexible individual, having lived in ten different countries and worked across the public, private, United Nations and NGO sectors. He holds a BA in Management from Royal Holloway, University of London and an MSc in Development Management from the Open University.