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Ian Jefferson

Senior PartnerWashington DC

Ian collaborates with leaders in the public, private, and social sectors to mobilize their teams for implementing large-scale change.

Ian serves as managing partner of McKinsey’s Washington, DC, office, and is a leader in its People & Organizational Performance Practice. He serves a range of federal, state, and local government, higher education, and private sector clients. Ian collaborates closely with clients to enhance performance, organizational design, merger management, capability building, leadership development, HR and culture change, and workforce planning.

As faculty for McKinsey’s Change Leaders Forum, Ian helps executives build the skills required to implement change. He also helped develop the curriculum for McKinsey’s Integration Leadership Forum.

Passionate about the arts, Ian sponsors McKinsey’s global Arts & Culture enthusiasts. He directs pro bono support of national and global arts institutions and serves on the board of the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center.

Before joining McKinsey, Ian was a strategist in the White House and Department of Defense. He was part of the team that developed and implemented the proposal for the new Department of Homeland Security. He has lived and worked in Australia, Belgium, and Russia.

Published work

Higher ed is consolidating, transforming the sector,” McKinsey & Company, July 2023

From transition to transformation,” McKinsey & Company, December 2020

The state transformation mandate during COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

Equipping leaders for merger integration success,” McKinsey & Company, July 2018

Past experience

Office of the Secretary of Defense, US Department of Defense
Foreign affairs specialist

Office of the Secretary of Defense, US Department of Defense
Presidential management fellow (PMF)


Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government
MPP, international security

Emory University
BA, political science and Russian language