Carina Cortese


Carina is passionate about designing systems that enable empathy and impact at scale. She joined SYPartners in 2011, and spent several years leading the firm’s New York Strategy practice.

As a Principal, Carina partners with visionary leaders who seek to create positive impact across industries and issues with purpose, creativity, and humanity. She has led large-scale transformation work alongside executives at IBM, AARP, Gannett, UnitedHealthcare, American Express, and IDEO, among others.

Carina’s perspective on human-led transformation stems from her experience at the intersection of the arts and business. She started her career in theater, and has experience as a performer, director, playwright, and producer. Prior to joining SYP, Carina was part of IBM’s international Marketing Insights team. Through these experiences she’s learned—and continues to learn—that the fusion and balance of seemingly opposing forces is often where the magic happens: logic and empathy, creativity and systems-thinking, immediacy and sustainability.

Carina holds a dual B.A. in Philosophy and Dramatic Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an M.A. in Arts Administration from Columbia University. She has lived and worked in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. Outside of the office, she can be found savoring stories of all kinds, hosting Jeffersonian-style dinners with casts of interesting characters, and singing the high notes in a small vocal group.