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Jake Bryant


Helps education organizations spanning early learning, K-12, higher education, and adult learning improve learning and life outcomes, build new products, and grow

Jake is a leader in our Education Practice, where his client service and research focus on improving learning and life outcomes. Over the course of his career, he has worked with over 350 education organizations in 40 countries and 30 US states, including many leading public and private universities, school districts, technology companies, not-for-profit organizations, philanthropists, and investors.

Examples of Jake’s recent work include the following:

  • helping systems, teachers, and students recover from the impacts of COVID-19 for kindergarten through twelfth grade, which included making up for lost learning, strengthening the retention and development of teachers, and supporting students’ mental health
  • assisting higher education institutions navigate the COVID-19 crisis, improve the learning and employment outcomes of their students, launch or reinvigorate online and blended degree and certificate programs, and improve financial sustainability
  • working with several large employers and the training providers to build workforce development strategies around adult learning with an emphasis on helping workers upskill or reskill for emerging needs in IT, healthcare, and other high-growth professions
  • working extensively with curriculum and technology providers and investors—ranging from philanthropy to private equity—on topics including new product development, growth strategy, operational improvement, and acquisitions

Prior to returning to McKinsey in 2013, Jake served as a program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He began his career as a middle school teacher, first in Yokohama, Japan and later in Los Angeles, California. He currently lives in Seattle with his wife and two kids.


Spark & Sustain: How all of the world’s school systems can improve learning at scale,” McKinsey & Company, February 2024

Stimulus funding deadlines loom: How are K–12 schools adjusting their priorities?,” McKinsey & Company, September 2023

What it would take for US schools to fully recover from COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, August 2023

Advancing racial equity in US pre-K–12 education,” McKinsey & Company, July 2023

Higher ed is consolidating, transforming the sector,” McKinsey & Company, July 2023

Why restoring natural capital is good for business,” McKinsey & Company, April 2023

K–12 teachers are quitting. What would make them stay?,” McKinsey & Company, March 2023

Expanding publicly funded pre-K: How to do it and do it well,” McKinsey & Company, January 2023

COVID-19 learning delay and recovery: Where do US states stand?,” McKinsey & Company, January 2023

Halftime for the K–12 stimulus: How are districts faring?,” McKinsey & Company, November 2022

How COVID-19 caused a global learning crisis,” McKinsey & Company, April 2022

Reimagining a more equitable and resilient K–12 education system,” McKinsey & Company, September 2020

New global data reveal education technology’s impact on learning,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

Safely back to school after coronavirus closures,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020 (with corresponding webinar)

School system priorities in the age of coronavirus,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020 (with corresponding webinar)

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

How artificial intelligence will impact K-12 teachers,” McKinsey & Company, January 2020

Drivers of student performance: Insights from North America,” McKinsey & Company, December 2017

The high performing education tech sales rep,” Fuel, a McKinsey Company, April 2017

Three more reasons why US education is ready for investment,”  McKinsey & Company, November 2016

Why US education is ready for investment,” McKinsey & Company, July 2015

Past Experience

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Program officer, education

KIPP SoCal Public Schools
Teacher, social studies and literacy