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Jacqueline Brassey

Senior Knowledge ExpertLuxembourg

Core researcher and practitioner in sustainable human development and performance; passionate about helping individuals and organizations thrive by promoting improved mental health, well-being, agility, and resilience

Jacqui is a coleader of the McKinsey Health Institute, a non-profit-generating entity within the firm that aspires to catalyze action to add 45 billion years of higher-quality life for all people around the world. She is also a senior knowledge expert in the firm’s People & Organizational Performance Practice. Jacqui brings over 20 years of experience as a practitioner academic in leadership and organizational development and positive neuroscience in and outside of McKinsey and academia.

In addition to her roles at McKinsey, she is a fellow researcher at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and an adjunct professor at IE University in Madrid, Spain. Her research focuses on sustainable human development and performance, and she works across research from neuroscience, business, and leadership development. She has coauthored and presented nearly 100 articles, books, book chapters, podcasts, and scientific papers.

Jacqui serves as a supervisory board member of Save the Children and is a member of the board of advisors of Wellbeing at Work.

Jacqui holds degrees in both organization and business sciences as well as medical sciences. She has a bachelor’s in international business and languages from Avans University of Applied Sciences, a cum laude bachelor’s and master’s in policy and organization sciences from Tilburg University, a PhD in economics and business from Groningen University, and a joint master’s in affective neuroscience from Maastricht University and the University of Florence.

Published work

In search of self and something bigger: A spiritual health exploration,” McKinsey Health Institute, May 2024

To defend against disruption, build a thriving workforce,” McKinsey & Company, May 2024

Working nine to thrive,” McKinsey Health Institute, March 2024

Reframing employee health: Moving beyond burnout to holistic health,” McKinsey Health Institute, November 2023

Developing dual awareness,” McKinsey Quarterly, January 2023

When things get rocky, practice deliberate calm,” McKinsey & Company, November 2022

Present company included: Prioritizing mental health and well-being for all,” McKinsey & Company, October 2022

Deliberate Calm: How to Learn and Lead in a Volatile World,” HarperCollins Publishers, November 2022

The Curious Advantage Podcast: Curiosity and emotional flexibility,” The Curious Advantage, April 2020

Addressing employee burnout: Are you solving the right problem?,” McKinsey & Company, May 2022

Socio-emotional ties: A secret ingredient to success,” McKinsey & Company, February 2022

What makes entrepreneurs happy? Psychological flexibility and entrepreneurs' satisfaction,” Journal of Business Venturing Insights, November 2021

Using digital tech to support employees’ mental health and resilience,” McKinsey & Company, July 2021

Future proof: Solving the ‘adaptability paradox’ for the long term,” McKinsey & Company, August 2021

How to demonstrate calm and optimism in a crisis,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Emotional flexibility and general self-efficacy: A pilot training intervention study with knowledge workers,” PLOS ONE, October 2020

Building Authentic Courage: The Essential Foundation For Successful Diversity And Inclusion”, Forbes February 2020

Advancing Authentic Confidence Through Emotional Flexibility,” Lulu Press, 2019

Past experience

Director, organizational diagnostics and HR
Manager, people and organizational insights
Account manager, frozen foods


Avans Hogeschool
BCom, international business and languages

Tilburg University
BA, MA, policy and organization sciences

University of Groningen
PhD, business and economics

Maastricht University and University of Florence
MS, affective neuroscience