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Tom Isherwood

Senior Partner, Dubai
Core leader of our Public Sector Practice—supporting government clients in more than 10 countries across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East on topics related to economic development, labor markets, and building effective education systems

About Tom

Tom focuses on supporting government clients on topics related to economic, labor, and education policy. Over the past five years, he has served public sector institutions in more than 10 countries across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Independent of his client service, Tom led a year-long research effort in 2015 conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute on the future of the Saudi Economy. The results of this research were published in December 2015 in the report “Saudi Arabia Beyond Oil: The investment and productivity transformation.”

Tom also led the firm’s global research on the linkages between education systems and labor markets, which was published in the report “Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works.” This research was based on interviews with more than 100 effective “education-to-employment” programs and surveys of youth, employers, and businesses in nine countries.

Prior to joining the firm, Tom received an MPhil with distinction in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from Oxford University. Though Tom is a native English speaker, he is also conversational in Arabic.

Published work

How customs agencies can help special economic zones succeed,” McKinsey & Company, August 2019

Telematics: Poised for strong global growth,” McKinsey & Company, April 2018

“The sector that Riyadh should focus on,” MEED, April 2016

“Saudi Arabia’s other pipeline,” Innovation in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Governments, McKinsey & Company, October 2015 (PDF–18.2 MB)

Moving Saudi Arabia’s economy beyond oil,” McKinsey Global Institute, December 2015

Education to Employment: Designing a system that works,” McKinsey & Company, January 2013


University of Oxford
MPhil, modern Middle Eastern studies

University of Delaware
MA, political science

University of Delaware
BA, economics, international relations