dirk schmautzer

Partner - McKinsey & Company

Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Dirk Schmautzer is based in our Dubai office. He co-leads our global Economic Development Practice and leads our Education Practice in the Middle East. Dirk is a former fellow of the McKinsey Global Institute, our economic think tank, where he led major research on economic development and government reform. In the field of economic development, Dirk has shaped multiple country and sector strategies worldwide, including in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. For example, he supported the development and implementation of a country strategy for a major Gulf Cooperation Council country, which set out detailed reform initiatives and growth strategies for financial services, logistics, tourism, and manufacturing. The strategy led to significant job creation and increase in foreign direct investment. Dirk has also worked on sector-level reform strategies in both developing and developed markets, and has helped lead “delivery units” to support country- and sector-wide reform implementation. In the field of education, Dirk supported the design and implementation of the largest reform of technical and vocational training (TVET) in the world, including developing new TVET public-private partnership models, building up regulatory institutions and driving school-level reforms. He also worked with major ministries of education on holistic K-12 reform strategies and helped them, and other government institutions, improve their efficiency and effectiveness. 

Areas of Expertise


There was a time when economic growth, sustainability, and inclusion were seen as trade-offs, but leaders today need to achieve all three. This new paradigm of growth will be more sustainable, driving innovation while reducing environmental impact. It will also be more inclusive, creating access to opportunities for people worldwide. This is not an easy task, but our ambition is to help organizations and their leaders make it a reality. Every day, around the world, we partner with our clients to set bold strategies, unlock the potential of their people, embed transformative technologies in everything they do, and innovate sustainably. The impact we deliver helps clients achieve enduring change in their capabilities and performance—and speeds up the transition to sustainable and inclusive growth.

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