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Jonathan K. Law

Senior Partner, New York
Serves a range of public sector and philanthropic clients, with particular emphasis on economic development, innovative social finance, and organizational effectiveness and operational efficiency

About Jonathan

Jonathan K. Law is a Partner in McKinsey & Company’s New York office. Since joining the Firm in 2001, he has worked with clients in the public sector and in philanthropy on topics related to economic development, higher education, infrastructure, innovative social finance, and organizational effectiveness and operational efficiency. Recent projects have included:

Economic Development:

  • Developing the long-range comprehensive strategic plan for one of the largest cities in the US to promote economic growth, equity, sustainability, and resiliency
  • Creating and implementing an economic development plan for a Rust Belt city to turn around its struggling economy that has led to the city’s lowest unemployment rate since the recession, $10 billion in private investment, and the creation of 11,000 jobs within 2 years

Higher education:

  • Designing the 10-year strategy and investment plan for one of the largest state universities in the country with the aspiration to transform it into a leading public university in the US
  • Working with one of the largest state university systems in the US to design the nation’s leading digital degree offerings with the goal of advancing the state’s economy
  • Supporting one of the largest urban public university systems in the US to improve its administrative operations, identifying $100+ million to reinvest in academic initiatives


  • Supporting a large US state in its reconstruction efforts after one of the worst weather events in its history, including designing a $750 million program to promote resilience and economic development across over 40 communities
  • Redesigning the planning and budgeting process for one of the largest states with a capital budget of over $10 billion per year
  • Identifying efficiencies in capital project delivery for one of the largest US states with over 20 projects of value greater than $100 million

Organizational effectiveness and operational efficiency in the public and social sectors:

  • Designing and standing up the largest state government shared services center in the US, which will have ~2,000 employees and serve over 100,000 state workers
  • Developing a strategy for a leading global foundation on how to support cities in pursuing more data- and evidence-based strategies

Innovative social finance:

  • Developing an approach for a large global foundation to pursue strategic partnerships with the private sector to achieve its program objectives
  • Developing the financial inclusion strategy for a large global bank, enabling it to serve millions of the world’s poor who are excluded from formal financial services

Prior to joining McKinsey, Jonathan has worked at the United Nations, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, and the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Jonathan obtained a JD from Columbia Law School and an AB in Social Studies from Harvard College.

Published work

COVID-19 crisis pushes US students into an uncertain job market,” McKinsey & Company, July 2021

The case for inclusive growth,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

Shaping university boards for 21st century higher education in the US,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

Reimagining higher education in the United States,” McKinsey & Company, October 2020

Lessons for US governors and mayors planning a second term,” McKinsey & Company, August 2020

Reimagining the postpandemic economic future,” McKinsey & Company, August 2020

Lessons from the past on how to revive the US economy after COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

COVID-19 and US higher education enrollment: Preparing leaders for fall,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

Coronavirus: How should US higher education plan for an uncertain future?,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Coronavirus and the campus: How can US higher education organize to respond?,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

Defining the role of a state chief operating officer,” McKinsey & Company, April 2019

How can the private and public sectors work together to create smart cities,” McKinsey & Company, January 2019

Coordinating workforce development across stakeholders: An interview with ManpowerGroup CEO Jonas Prising,” McKinsey & Company, October 2018

The AI factor in talent management: An interview with Catalyte’s Jacob Hsu and Mike Rosenbaum,” McKinsey & Company, September 2018

Adapting education to the demands of a rapidly changing economy: An interview with Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley,” McKinsey & Company, August 2018

How higher-education institutions can transform themselves using advanced analytics,” McKinsey & Company, August 2018

Creating an effective workforce system for the new economy,” McKinsey & Company, July 2018

Urban world: Meeting the demographic challenge in cities,” McKinsey Global Institute, October 2016

The future city: Delivering change in urban economics,” McKinsey & Company, The Art and Science of Delivery, April 2013

From potential to action: Bringing social impact bonds to the US,” McKinsey & Company, March 2012

Needs-based segmentation: Helping nonprofits take outreach to the next level,” McKinsey & Company, July 2010

Past experience

Cravath, Swaine & Moore
Summer associate

New York City Economic Development Corporation
Project manager

United Nations
Associate program officer


Columbia University

Harvard College