My Time at McKinsey

Pete Buttigieg
The Moment by Pete for America
4 min readDec 7, 2019

I give authorization to McKinsey to release the full list of clients I was assigned to serve.

After completing my higher education in 2007, I worked at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. I held this job for roughly two and a half years, leaving in early 2010 to pursue my passion for public service. As an Associate, I was assigned to months-long stints on ‘teams’ of typically three or four people working on a study for a client. The bulk of my work on these teams consisted of doing mathematical analysis, conducting research, and preparing presentations. I never worked on a project inconsistent with my values, and if asked to do so, I would have left the firm rather than participate.

Much of my work at McKinsey, including the names of clients served, is covered under a confidentiality agreement that I signed when I joined the firm. In June, my campaign inquired about the scope of this confidentiality agreement. Last month, my campaign reached out again, not only about the scope of the agreement, but also with a request to be released from the confidentiality agreement in full, given the importance of transparency for presidential candidates. To date, the company has not agreed.

I believe transparency is particularly important under the present circumstances in our country, which is one of the reasons why I have released all tax returns from my time in the private sector and since. I am today reiterating my request that McKinsey release me from this agreement, and I again make clear that I authorize them to release the full list of clients I was assigned to serve. This company must recognize the importance of transparency in the exceptional case of a former employee becoming a competitive candidate for the U.S. presidency.

I understand why some are calling on me to break the agreement. But, it’s important to me to keep my word and commitments. I know the American people also want a president who they can trust to do the same. Now more than ever, however, I also understand the American people deserve to know these kinds of details about their president’s background in order to gain and hold that trust. So, I am asking McKinsey to do the right thing in the name of transparency. In the meantime, to add as much clarity as possible to my record, I am providing the following summary of the work that I performed while at the firm.

Timeline of McKinsey Work


  • Working in Michigan for my first study, I served a nonprofit health insurance provider for approximately three months, undertaking on-the-job training and performing analytical work as part of a team identifying savings in administration and overhead costs.


  • Working in the Toronto area, I served a grocery and retail chain for approximately six months, analyzing the effects of price cuts on various combinations of items across their hundreds of stores.
  • Working in Chicago, I briefly served a division of a consumer goods retail chain on a project to investigate opportunities for selling more energy-efficient home products in their stores.
  • I stepped away from the firm during the late summer and fall of 2008 to help full-time with a Democratic campaign for governor in Indiana, returning after the election.


  • Working mostly in Connecticut, I worked on a project co-sponsored by a group that included the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, other nonprofit environmental groups, and several utility companies, to research opportunities to combat climate change through energy efficiency. This work was published as a report entitled “Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy”, which is publicly available and includes the full list of co-sponsors.


  • Working mostly in California, I served an environmental nonprofit group on a study to research opportunities in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
  • Working in Washington with visits to Iraq and Afghanistan, I served a U.S. Government department in a project focused on increasing employment and entrepreneurship in those countries’ economies.


  • Working in Washington, I served a logistics and shipping provider working to identify and analyze potential new sources of revenue. This was my last study while at McKinsey.

To the best of my recollection, these are all of my client engagements during my time with the firm, but a full release from McKinsey will allow the American public to see the full scope of my work.



Pete Buttigieg
The Moment by Pete for America

Personal account. Husband, father, veteran, public servant. Always answer to Mayor Pete.