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Ed Barriball

Partner, Washington DC
Leads transformation programs across the public and private sectors, focused on aerospace, aviation, defense, and law enforcement, with expertise advising organizations that manage complex supply chains and logistics

About Ed

Ed leads manufacturing, supply chain, and logistics for McKinsey’s Public Sector Practice in North America. In this capacity, he advises defense and national security agencies as they set strategy, transform their operations, and unlock organizational potential. He also brings his expertise to private sector clients such as airlines and aerospace companies.

Since joining McKinsey in 2012, Ed has helped unlock the potential for data analytics to inform better decision making. He spearheaded the establishment of a team of data scientists and data engineers focused on solving some of the public sector’s toughest challenges by drawing on advanced analytics and artificial intelligence. Concepts developed by this team likewise inform his work with private-sector clients—for example, helping airlines improve their on-time performance. Ed has initiated multiple start-ups within McKinsey in this area, innovating new tools to help leaders to better understand and visualize their supply chains.

Examples of his recent client work include the following:

  • transforming a major defense program, limiting risk while simultaneously reducing costs, resulting in more than 10 percent savings in logistics, supply chain, and maintenance
  • building the transformation agenda and program for one of the largest logistics organizations in the world to improve productivity by 20 percent.
  • leading the transformation of a national law enforcement agency, improving its mission delivery, internal operations, organizational structure, and talent management
  • transforming a major public sector agency that manages complex logistical issues by building the capabilities of more than 100 individual contributors in the US and globally, unlocking 10 percent annual savings
  • building an advanced analytics platform for a global airline that reduced inventory expenditures by 15 percent shortly after launch

Interested in fostering debate, Ed recently published articles on better managing supply chain risk and asset availability. He also coauthored a paper for the 2018 Aspen Strategy Group on the effect of artificial intelligence on conflict in the 21st century, focusing on what the US Department of Defense needs to do to keep pace with the field. Before joining McKinsey, Ed worked at GE Aviation, where he graduated from GE’s Edison Engineering Development Program and held technical, operations, and finance roles related to military and commercial jet engines.

Published Work

Supply-chain recovery in coronavirus times—plan for now and the future,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

A practical approach to supply-chain risk management,” McKinsey & Company, March 2019

Defense in the 21st century: How artificial intelligence might change the character of conflict,” Technology and National Security: Maintaining America’s Edge, Washington, DC: Aspen Institute, January 2019

Smarter choices: Raise asset availability and reduce operating costs,” McKinsey & Company, June 2017

Past experience

GE Aviation
Edison Engineering Development Program


Harvard University

Purdue University
BS, materials science and engineering