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Diana Ellsworth

Partner, Atlanta
Helps organizations develop their talent-management capabilities to create value and drive cultural change and advises clients on strategic leadership development, workforce planning, and organizational design

About Diana

Since joining McKinsey, Diana has focused on organizational-development work, with an emphasis on talent and culture. She has deep expertise in culture and change management, talent and leadership development, and strategic organization design, ensuring that organizations have the necessary resources to deliver their strategy in a sustainable way.

In all her work, Diana drives organizational change, with a focus on improving performance and long-term capability planning. She leads transformational-change efforts, talent-to-value strategic workforce planning, and productivity-focused organizational-redesign efforts. Her expertise also includes helping organizations develop strong leaders, pursue inclusion and diversity improvements, and guide successful merger management. She serves a diverse set of clients across sectors, focusing on organizations with large distributed workforces.

Examples of her recent client work include the following:

  • designing and leading a culture- and change-management effort, including an enhanced leadership program and an integrated approach to embedding culture in all performance initiatives, during a major agricultural merger
  • leading a high-tech company’s workplace-culture reset, including new approaches to collaboration, productive conflict modeling, and concern resolution
  • facilitating an organizational-transformation effort, including culture, talent, and organizational design, for a major US airline
  • driving a strategic workforce planning and career path effort at a global medical-device company looking to improve talent outcomes for technical experts
  • leading an effort to design the organizational structure, key processes, and people plans to support strategic objectives for a high-growth private-equity portfolio company
  • managing a major nongovernmental organization’s transformational change and merger initiative, including design and ratification of a new governance structure, corporate-center redesign, and a plan for leadership mind-set and behavior

Diana is on the faculty of McKinsey’s Change Leaders Forum and its Talent Leaders Forum, which she helped establish, and leads the firm’s LGBTQ Senior Executive Master Class in the United States. She is a leader of The Alliance, a network committed to advancing civil rights and inclusion for the LGBTQ community that helps build connections among LGBTQ leaders in business, academia, and the social and public sectors. In July 2018, Diana developed and hosted the network’s inaugural conference in Lisbon, Portugal. It brought together 115 private-, public-, and social-sector LGBTQ leaders from 19 countries to discuss the inclusion and diversity agenda in the workplace and broader society.

Before joining McKinsey, Diana was a founding teacher at a tuition-free, public, charter Atlanta middle school and the executive director of Teach For America in Atlanta. Her background bridges an emphasis on learning and development fostered during her time in the education sector with a focus on business deepened through her graduate study.

Published work

Inclusion doesn’t happen by accident: Measuring inclusion in a way that matters,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, February 2021

The diversity imperative in retail,” McKinsey & Company, January 2021

Sustaining and strengthening inclusion in our new remote environment,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

LGBTQ+ voices: Learning from lived experiences,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

How the LGBTQ+ community fares in the workplace,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

The “how” in creating inclusive workplaces,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, March 2020

The CEO’s guide to competing through HR,” McKinsey Quarterly, July 2017

Where accountability really matters,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2016

Redesigning Knowledge Work,” Harvard Business Review, January 2013

Past experience

Teach For America, Atlanta
Executive director

Atlanta Public Schools


Harvard University

Dartmouth College
BA, sociology, art history