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Scott Blackburn

Senior PartnerWashington DC

Works with US federal departments using commercial best practices to solve the government’s toughest problems

Scott is a senior partner in the Washington, DC office where he helps design and implement large-scale transformation programs in both the public and private sectors. He has led performance transformations in large government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and not for profits across the United States and globally on topics including strategy, operational excellence, supply chain, commercial excellence, organizational design, culture, talent, change management, capability building, and mental wellbeing.

Scott is the global coleader of the McKinsey Center for Government, a global hub for world-class research, analysis, and collaboration in government productivity and performance. He also serves as the dean of McKinsey’s Change Leaders Forum and as the global partner-sponsor of Veterans at McKinsey, a network of more than 500 military veterans across the globe.

In 2014, Scott left McKinsey to lead the MyVA transformation at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) before serving as interim VA deputy secretary during the presidential transition in 2017. He went on to serve as its chief information officer. During this period, veteran trust in the VA improved to over 70 percent from 47 percent as a result of improved customer service, access to healthcare, contact center operations, digital experience, and employee experience. He also assisted in streamlining operations and modernizing decades-old IT infrastructure and rejoined McKinsey in 2018.

A former US Army captain, Scott remains active in the veteran community, routinely working with more than a dozen of veteran service organizations and not for profits in a pro bono capacity. Scott is on the board of directors of Student Veterans of America, VETSports, the Concussion Legacy Foundation, and the Golden Heart Fund.

Scott grew up in Massachusetts in a family with a long history of military and government service.

Published work

Author Talks: Fighting the good fight,” McKinsey & Company, May 2024

Stand and deliver: Three imperatives for civil servants,” McKinsey & Company, April 2024

From the military to the workforce: How to leverage veterans’ skills,” McKinsey & Company, November 2023

What workers want is changing. That could be good for government,” McKinsey & Company, October 2022

Transforming government in a new era,” McKinsey & Company, September 2022

Government transformation in times of great change,” McKinsey & Company, March 2022

Government transformations in times of extraordinary change: Key considerations for public-sector leaders,” McKinsey & Company, August 2021

Navigating the first 100 days: Lessons from former US cabinet members,” McKinsey & Company, January 2021


Harvard Business School

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BS, mechanical engineering