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Melissa Dalrymple


Brings design thinking to business strategy, defining and scaling meaningful customer experiences that increase customer satisfaction and drive business impact

Melissa has spent her career focused at the intersection of design thinking and business, with a strong focus on customer experience and innovation. She was previously on leadership teams at IDEO, Doblin, and Rockwell Group, working in the United States and Europe for clients in retail, hospitality, and digital education.

At McKinsey, Melissa leads design teams that tightly integrate with overarching client strategy. Her work helps executives determine how to focus their investments and be more user-centric across channels, frequently while executing broader digital and customer experience transformations. She spends much of her time advocating for the value of design, helping organizations take a wider view of the strategic role that discipline can play in modernizing corporate behaviors to be more responsive to the people they serve.

Examples of Melissa’s recent client work include the following:

  • helping a cruise line rethink the end-to-end cruising experience and create a portfolio of new spaces and experiences for a new generation of cruisers, using advanced analytics and human-centered design methods to prioritize investments and drive innovation
  • executing a digital transformation at a top hospitality company, focusing on redesigning online channels to outpace the competition while reshaping the business on the basis of future-facing customer insights
  • creating a customer-centric focus for a leading insurance firm, helping them move from a product focus to a customer-experience orientation around financial wellness, while redesigning the experience across B2B2C channels

Previously based in London and New York, Melissa now works in Chicago. A graduate of Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and Yale, Melissa was an 11-time Ivy League record holder in swimming.

Published work

Made to measure: Getting design leadership metrics right,” McKinsey & Company, March 2021

Make it better, not just safer: The opportunity to reinvent travel,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

Are you asking enough from your design leaders?,” McKinsey & Company, February 2020

Life insurance product innovation: What insurers can learn from leading tech and consumer companies,” McKinsey & Company, January 2019

Past experience

Business lead

Doblin Group
Associate partner


Harvard University

The Johns Hopkins University
MA, art history

Yale University
BA, art history