Director Emerita at McKinsey & Company after 30+ years serving consumer-facing clients, Joanna Barsh continues as a senior advisor to the firm on organization topics. She led the creation and launch of The Centered Leadership Project in 2008, in collaboration with colleagues, to accelerate development of managers aspiring to lead transformational change. Joanna is also the best-selling author of How Remarkable Women Lead and Centered Leadership, the companion piece that teaches men and women the skills, tools, and practices to develop as leaders. Her newest book, Grow Wherever You Work, was released in 2017. It offers stories and honest counsel to help younger professionals face tough challenges at work.
Joanna has always been a strong advocate for women. Invited by Mayor Bloomberg, Joanna served on NYC’s Commission on Women’s Issues from 2002 to 2013. She led ground-breaking research on unlocking the potential of women for The Wall Street Journal’s Women in the Economy Task Force and for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Joanna has spoken with many business and government leaders on women’s advancement, traveling to Australia, Brazil, Colombia, China, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, UAE, and throughout Europe. Co-chair of the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership’s Working Group on leadership, Joanna helped launch a learning program in collaboration with McKinsey Sweden that has been running for four years. Her current research, sponsored by MAKERS, focuses on companies’ bolder actions to advance women and people of color.
Joanna holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago and Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. She was a trustee of Sesame Workshop for 20 years and has been a board member of Genesco since 2013.
Joanna and her husband, David, split their time between NYC, a farm upstate, and Tucson, Arizona. They have raised two remarkable daughters!