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Jon Creyts

Managing Director


  • China
  • Disruptive Technologies

Jon Creyts is a Managing Director at RMI, where he leads research and collaboration activities across all of RMI’s major practice areas, including transportation, electricity, industry, buildings, sustainable communities, and finance. He brings over 20 years of strategy, operations and design experience to resource issues at the interface of markets and technology. He is the founding Director of RMI’s China Program.


Jon is a recognized thought-leader on the business implications of climate change. Over the past decade he has worked with the leadership teams of dozens of leading global companies and institutions, and briefed officials and committees at the highest levels of international, federal and state government on practical solutions to the climate challenge, including the United Nations, the US Congress and the US President’s cabinet. He is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences.

Prior to joining RMI, Jon was a partner with McKinsey and Company for 11 years where he helped found McKinsey’s Sustainability Practice. He served clients extensively on issues related to operations, capital productivity, environmental management, and growth, focusing on the energy, industrial, and technology sectors. During his time at McKinsey, he co-authored the groundbreaking survey Reducing US Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost? which popularized the use of the cost curve as a means to convey the economics of reducing carbon emissions. He was also a principal author of that report’s sequel, Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy, which explored the barriers and solutions to unlocking energy efficiency’s potential at-scale.

Before McKinsey, Jon worked in both the power and aerospace industries. He is an alumnus of Lockheed Martin’s renowned Skunk Works design facility, and spent shorter stints as a power plant designer and engineer.


BS in Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1992)
MS in Mechanical Engineering, University of California – Berkeley (1998)
PhD in Mechanical Engineering, University of California – Berkeley (2000)


Basalt, CO

Authored Blog Posts

Research Release: An Energy Roadmap for China

Late last week, China and the U.S. announced that they are formally joining the Paris agreement to combat climate change. Download our Reinventing Fire: China Executive Summary, the most sophisticated model of China’s energy use to date and a roadmap to slash carbon emissions and energy use by 2050, all at a net economic benefit.

Today’s U.S.-China Announcement is the Most Significant Milestone to Date for Battling Global Climate Change

Today’s joint announcement by President Obama and President Xi represents the second time in two years the leaders have met to make significant climate commitments. Last year’s meeting focused on setting aggressive goals that reflect each country’s unique situation. This year’s meeting moved decisively to implementation commitments intended to deliver…

Three Energy Gamechangers for China and the World

This decade China is set to regain the status it has held for 18 of the past 20 centuries: the world’s largest economy. A major engine of historic success was China’s inexorable drive to develop and deploy new technologies, far outpacing other civilizations. As Joseph Needham documented, and his student…

Caveat Investor

The electricity industry has been abuzz with talk of an impending death spiral brought on by distributed solar and, to a lesser extent, efficiency. The case is incomplete, but there is emerging evidence to suggest utility investors should proceed with caution.

Pioneering “Pay for Performance” in the Pacific Northwest

Washington State, the land of coffee and clouds, is at it again. As if it is not enough to lead the country in caffeine consumed per capita and cardiac arrest recovery rates, it is now hard at work innovating on how to capture building energy efficiency.

Hot Air About Cheap Natural Gas

Would you build a buy-and-hold financial portfolio from only junk bonds and no Treasuries by considering only price, not also risk? Not for long. Yet those who say cheap natural gas is killing alternatives—solar, wind, nuclear—make the same error. In truth, they’re doing the math wrong: the gas isn’t really…