About The Authors


Nick van Dam

Based in the Amsterdam office, Nick van Dam is a partner, global chief learning officer (CLO), and client adviser at McKinsey. He is an internationally recognized thought leader, adviser, researcher, author, and speaker on corporate learning and leadership development. Over the course of his professional career, Nick has served more than 100 clients around the world. He is also a professor at IE University (Madrid) and Nyenrode (Amsterdam), and an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where he works with candidates in the executive doctoral program for CLOs. Prior to joining McKinsey, he was partner, global CLO, and director of human capital for Deloitte. Nick has written articles for various publications and has been quoted by Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, Business Week, India Times, Information Week, Management Consulting, CLO Magazine, and TD Magazine. He has authored and coauthored more than 25 books and numerous articles on innovations in learning and leadership development. Under the patrons of the European Parliament Federal Ministry of Education & Research, he received the 2013 Leonardo European Corporate Learning Award for shaping the future of organizational learning and leadership development. He is the founder of the e-learning for kids foundation, which has provided digital lessons for more than 20 million underprivileged elementary school children.


Mary Andrade

Based in the Southern California office, Mary Andrade is the director of McKinsey’s Learning Design and Development Center of Excellence. She is pioneering 21st-century learning methodologies, approaches, and design for McKinsey and the learning industry. She is an authored, experienced learning professional with a 20-year track record of success in creating learning curricula, applying innovative design and development techniques, and delivering solutions to large organizations deploying at scale. She has written articles for TD Magazine, Chief Learning Officer, and The Pfeiffer Annual.

Maria Eugenia Arias

Based in the Melbourne office, Maria Eugenia Arias is a leadership, learning, and culture senior expert adviser. She is responsible for coaching programs for McKinsey partners (new partner coaching and senior coaching). On the client side, she works with executive teams and boards on issues of governance, alignment, leadership development, and performance transformation. This work often involves coaching individuals and teams. She played a key role in developing knowledge on top-team effectiveness and family-owned businesses at McKinsey. Before joining McKinsey, Maria Eugenia taught at INSEAD, INCAE (the leading business school in Latin America), and Mount Eliza Business School (Australia). She is the author of papers and cases addressing development challenges and articles on managerial practices, skills, and HR issues.

Carissa Bell

Carissa Bell is a learning solutions manager based out of McKinsey’s Atlanta office who leads McKinsey’s Learning Administration Solutions and Tools team. She has more than 18 years of experience in the professional services consulting industry and is a strategic leader of Global Learning Management System implementations and management of cloud-based learning platforms.

Kim Blank

Kim Blank is a McKinsey alumni consultant. She has worked with McKinsey Learning on their global site strategy. Prior to this role, she worked as a full-time consultant for McKinsey & Company, consulting with companies in the nonprofit, media, and financial services industries. She is also actively involved in several local and governmental organizations that support public education.

Jacqueline Brassey

Based in McKinsey’s Amsterdam office, Jacqueline Brassey is responsible for leadership development and learning for the senior partners globally, as well as a client adviser. She is also an assistant professor at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, specializing in HR and leadership-development research; faculty at the master-class program learning-and-development leadership of Nyenrode Business Universiteit; and a member of the supervisory board of Save the Children in the Netherlands. Jacqueline brings about 20 years of professional experience in HR and leadership development. She has coauthored nearly ten books and articles in the area of organizational behavior and leadership development.

Janine Carboni

Janine Carboni is a senior specialist in learning delivery in McKinsey’s Stamford office. In this role, she manages on-site logistics and daily operations at McKinsey’s North America Learning Center, which serves nearly 5,000 learners and faculty each year for in-person professional programs. With more than 20 years of experience in event management and on-site delivery, Janine finds her passion in the detailed work of bringing people together.

Lisa Christensen

Lisa Christensen is a senior learning expert in McKinsey’s San Francisco office. An expert in design, Lisa leads many of McKinsey’s learning innovations, including the design of McKinsey’s new One Firm Onboarding journey. Before joining McKinsey, Lisa worked across sectors helping clients develop learning strategies and interactive learner experiences. In addition to her design expertise, Lisa is an accomplished facilitator. She is the coauthor of several articles on ready-to-work learning experiences and simulation design.

Katie Coates

Katie Coates is a senior learning manager with McKinsey, leading learning and leadership development for 12,000 non-client-facing professionals. She has more than 25 years of experience in learning and talent development in financial and professional services and is currently pursuing a PhD in Human Development at Fielding Graduate University. Katie has authored chapters in The E-Learning Fieldbook (McGraw Hill) and Next Learning Unwrapped (Lulu Publishing).

Tonya Corley

Based in the Atlanta office, Tonya Corley is McKinsey’s director of Digital Learning Platforms and Solutions for the global firm. In this role she provides thought leadership and operational oversight to drive McKinsey’s digital learning vision and technology road map. Tonya has more than 17 years of experience with innovative learning-solutions implementation, with a keen eye toward learner-experience impact.

Sara Diniz

Sara Diniz is a senior learning manager based in McKinsey’s Houston office. Over the past couple of years, she has focused on developing McKinsey’s consultant learning journeys as well as shaping McKinsey’s learning strategy. Sara spent the previous decade building iconic brands and high-performance organizations at Procter & Gamble (Always, Gillette, Pantene, Venus, and Wella). She started her career as a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. She holds an MBA from Harvard and a BA in Chinese studies from UC Berkeley.

Gina Fine

Based in the Stamford office, Gina Fine is McKinsey’s director of learning delivery, leading the deployment of the firm’s learning-development programs globally. In this role she oversees the delivery of the Global Learning curriculum of in-person and distance offerings. She also leads analytics and financial-management processes for McKinsey’s Global Learning function. Before joining McKinsey, Gina was a partner at Accenture who worked to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of corporations’ HR processes and systems. Gina is a member of several industry organizations and has presented at major conferences, including Future Workplace and Masie Learning.

Karen Freeman

Karen Freeman is a senior portfolio manager in McKinsey’s Washington, DC, office. She is responsible for learning for New Ventures, McKinsey’s innovation engine with 2,500 colleagues pioneering asset-based consulting. Prior to joining McKinsey, she was head of learning and development at CEB (now Gartner). While at CEB, she coauthored several Harvard Business Review articles, including “To keep your customers, keep it simple” and “Stop trying to delight your customers.” She also led the team that developed the Challenger sales model and was a principal contributor to the book The Challenger Sale.

Stephanie Gabriels

Stephanie Gabriels is a learning design manager in McKinsey’s New York office. As a member of the Design and Development Center of Excellence, her role is leading the day to day of innovative learning projects. Her expertise is the result of 16 years designing and developing effective learning experiences for a wide range of audiences and settings, from operational-excellence digital learning to blended-learning programs for executives. She is the recipient of a 2017 Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Leadership Development Silver Award.

Sarah Gisser

Sarah Gisser is a senior learning portfolio manager in McKinsey’s Minneapolis office, leading learning and-development initiatives that support the firm’s partners and senior partners. In this role, she shapes innovative, practical, and varied approaches that keep McKinsey’s senior leaders at the forefront of their profession. Sarah’s 20-plus-year career blends extensive experience in learning and development, consumer insights, and management consulting. Sarah also served on the faculty at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management from 2012 to 2016.

Terrence Hackett

Terrence Hackett is a senior learning expert in McKinsey’s Chicago office and designs learning programs for McKinsey partners around the globe. Prior to his ongoing 17-year career in corporate learning, he designed award-winning educational software for schools. He is a long-time tutor, a published author and speaker on learning, and the author of On the Edge: A Memoir, a book about a Chicago teen’s journey from homelessness to prison to a nationally recognized speaker on the topic of personal transformation.

Gene Kuo

Gene Kuo serves as director of consultant leadership development at McKinsey. Based out of Houston, Gene has global responsibility for the end-to-end leadership development curricula and journeys of McKinsey’s prepartner client-service professionals. A former management consultant, Gene has more than a decade of experience in the learning-and-development field. He has particularly keen interests in the areas of leadership development in young, high-potential individuals; electronic performance support; and learning analytics.

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin leads the Digital Learning Innovation team at McKinsey. He is based out of the Philadelphia office and is a founding member of the Digital Learning Consortium. Duncan has authored three books and is a frequent speaker about innovation topics at various learning conferences.

Maeve Lucey

Maeve Lucey is a learning delivery manager in McKinsey’s Stamford office, where she helps enable the delivery of the firm’s in-person and digital programs. Maeve embraced digital learning in its infancy—both designing and developing digital-learning programs, as well as providing coaching on effective ways to create and deploy engaging digital programs. Maeve has more than 20 years of experience in adult learning, in both the business and academic worlds.

Barbara Matthews

Barbara Matthews is a learning manager in McKinsey’s Sacramento office. She has 20 years of experience designing learning solutions to help solve strategic business issues in a variety of industries, including retail, finance, healthcare, professional services, and education. In her current role, she is responsible for Global Learning solutions related to change initiatives at McKinsey.

Karen J. Merry

Karen J. Merry is a senior learning solutions expert in McKinsey’s Houston office, where she leads learning strategy discussions and conceptual design considerations for McKinsey professionals in the oil and gas; pharmaceuticals and medical products; travel, transport, and logistics; health and human services; and insurance industry portfolios. Karen has more than 20 years of experience in architecting strategic learning solutions for a variety of organizations and industries, including early-mid tenure capability-building programs, petrotechnical-resource entry programs for Most of World graduates, and learning strategy proposals for oil-and-gas concessions. Karen holds an M.Ed. in instructional systems technology from Indiana University, with an emphasis in training and development, and a BS in media communications and technology from East Stroudsburg University.

Larry Murphy

Based in Atlanta, Larry Murphy is McKinsey’s director of Partner Learning and Development. In that role, he leads a team of colleagues in setting and implementing McKinsey’s investments in the ongoing development of its partners and senior partners globally.

Stephanie Nadda

Based in the Chicago office, Stephanie Nadda is a digital learning technologies manager in one of Global Learning’s center of excellence teams: Digital Learning Platforms and Solutions. Stephanie leads the strategy, operations, and project management office for the group. She joined McKinsey in November 2015 after leading her own consulting practice, which specialized in learning technologies, for 12 years. Stephanie has deep expertise in learning systems, as well as program and project management, and she has worked hard to collaborate closely with IT throughout her career. Stephanie has spoken at the HR Technology conference and ATD’s Techknowledge conference. She coauthored the white paper “Enabling a culture of formal learning: A new LMS for the NCAA.”

Nick Pappas

Nick Pappas is McKinsey’s digital learning innovation R&D lead, based out of Chicago. Nick is responsible for running research and experimentation at the forefront of digital-learning technology to develop relevant use cases that significantly enhance the learning experience. Prior to joining McKinsey, Nick served as the director of technology for SpotMe, a mobile-app start-up.

James Pritchard

James Pritchard is a digital solutions manager in McKinsey’s New York office. As part of the Digital Platform Innovation team, he is responsible for evaluating and launching new learning tools and platforms. He has also led the custom development of McKinsey’s personalized learning-journey portal, serving as a product owner and content developer. He received an MFA in fiction writing from New York University and a BS in management science and engineering from Stanford University.

Ron Rabin

Ron Rabin is a learning design manager in McKinsey’s Seattle office. A former software developer and IT architect, he loves to work at the intersection of technology and learning. Prior to joining McKinsey, Ron was a senior learning technologist at the Center for Creative Leadership and lead designer and educational technologist at IBM’s Center for Advanced Learning.

Brodie Riordan

Brodie Riordan is a manager of Partner Learning and Development in McKinsey’s Washington, DC, office. Brodie is deeply passionate about performance and potential, feedback, coaching, and leadership development. She has published more than two dozen journal articles, books, and book chapters on these topics, including the book Using Feedback in Organizational Consulting (under her maiden name, Jane Brodie Gregory). Brodie has a PhD in industrial/organizational psychology and is certified by the International Coach Federation.

John Sangimino

John Sangimino is a senior learning solutions expert in McKinsey’s Chicago office. In this role he works with McKinsey practices to develop learning strategies and solutions that drive deep performance change. John has more than 25 years of experience leading the development of learning programs and solutions for global clients.

Lois Schaub

Lois Schaub is a senior learning analytics specialist in McKinsey’s Stamford office. In this role she develops metrics and data visualizations to help measure the impact of—and continuously improve—learning programs and journeys. Before joining McKinsey, Lois worked with K–12 teachers and administrators to maximize the use of data to improve student achievement.

Janice Steffen

Janice Steffen is a senior manager, learning design in McKinsey’s Denver office. In this role she provides thought leadership and operational management for McKinsey’s learning design solutions and resources. She is a seasoned expert in change management, team management, leadership development, and learning and organizational development strategies. Janice has previously published work in Training Magazine.

Allison Stevenson

Based in Chicago, Allison Stevenson is Kirkland & Ellis’s global director of legal education and development, leading attorney learning and development across the firm. In this role she has an impact on attorney growth through innovative solutions, managing continuing legal education tracking, accreditation, compliance, and reporting firm-wide. Allison is the former director of change management and strategic communications for McKinsey’s learning function, where she led the global communication and engagement strategy for firm learning. Allison is an executive leader with more than 17 years of management and consulting experience in organizational change, learning strategy, and operational excellence across a wide range of enterprises.

Allison Thom

Allison Thom is a senior learning portfolio manager in McKinsey’s Stamford office. She manages the Developing Every Day, Everywhere portfolio, which is focused on learning that happens outside of the formal classroom through digital learning, learning on teams, coaching, and many other opportunities to learn. She also leads efforts to collaborate with McKinsey’s offices worldwide to support them in the learning they offer locally and improve sharing of best practices on learning and development.

Gina Webster

Gina Webster is a learning manager in McKinsey’s New York office. She leads distance and digital learning globally for the Operations Practice and manages a portfolio of core ops in-person training programs, focused on lean and transformation topics.

Ashley Williams

Based in the Atlanta office, Ashley Williams is chief learning officer (CLO) for McKinsey Academy, which supports clients in building capabilities at scale. In this role, Ashley is helping McKinsey Academy scale the learning experience design and execution capabilities, counseling clients as they build capabilities in transformational environments, developing thought leadership on topics across capability building, and growing and innovating the McKinsey Academy curricula and offerings. Prior to McKinsey Academy, Ashley spent more than ten years in Learning at McKinsey, including as deputy CLO, where she helped lead several transformations and key innovations for McKinsey Learning.

Cathy Wright

Cathy Wright leads McKinsey’s global Knowledge Management and Dissemination function, which oversees the systems for creating, managing, and disseminating knowledge internally as well as directly to clients. Her specific areas of expertise include knowledge strategy, theme identification, curation, knowledge systems, knowledge governance and culture, external knowledge dissemination, and measuring knowledge impact. Cathy joined McKinsey in 2001 as a consultant and then became a knowledge manager and expert in the Marketing and Sales Practice. From 2008 to 2014, Cathy led Visa Inc.’s marketing consulting and research functions. She has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz.