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Martha Laboissiere

PartnerBay Area

Leads our work on post-secondary education, talent, and workforce development, serving clients across strategy, transformations, operations, and organization

Martha Laboissiere is a partner in our Education Practice. She serves clients in higher education, workforce training and workforce development.

Martha works extensively with higher education clients, advising institutions and systems on strategy, growth, technology, research, operational improvement, and organization transformation.

She also leads efforts to transform workforce systems supporting public and private entities with mapping supply and demand of labor and designing strategies to close the gap.

Martha brings experience in launching new businesses in the workforce training space, including Generation USA—a not-for-profit recruiting, training, and employment program for young adults and displaced workers.

Examples of Martha’s recent work include the following:

  • supporting a public university to identify and capture revenue opportunities and cost efficiencies , through improvements on enrollment, financial aid management, student persistence and retention, research, administrative functions, auxiliary revenues and new learning formats
  • mapping the education capacity gap for a US state higher education system, bringing together leadership from community colleges, state universities, flagship systems, private providers, and representatives from the K-12 system to collaborate in developing a holistic state view of the higher education system
  • working with a large public university system to develop a framework to diversify research funding and develop operational excellence
  • supporting the development of a strategy to grow the educational offering for allied health workers in a US state, including a detailed diagnostic and the development of a detailed business model that was successfully launched and is operational
  • developing a plan to address a shortage of workers in a US state, engaging with stakeholders throughout the workforce ecosystem to jointly diagnose issues, identify initiatives to close gaps, and develop an actionable plan to transform the state’s workforce system.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Martha was a faculty member and researcher.

Published work

How health systems and educators can work to close the talent gap,” McKinsey & Company, September 2023

Transforming HR to better support higher education institutions,” McKinsey & Company, December 2022

Care for the caretakers: Building the global public health workforce,” McKinsey & Company, July 2022

Scaling online education: Five lessons for colleges,” McKinsey & Company, February 2021

Getting the next phase of remote learning right in higher education,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Winning by degrees: The strategies of highly productive higher education institutions,” November 2010

Changing the Fortunes of America’s Workforce: A human capital challenge,” July 2009

The economic impact of the achievement gap in America’s schools,” April 2009

How Brazil can grow,” December 2006

“The Emerging Global Labor Markets,” April 2007

Past Experience

University of Brasilia
Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences

University of California, San Francisco
Research fellow, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry


University of Wisconsin-Madison
PhD, biochemistry

University of Brasilia
BSc, biology