Sir Michael Barber is a world leading expert on government delivery, education systems, systemic innovation and education reform.
Sir Michael led the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit for the Blair administration in the UK from 2001-2005. Since then, he has worked on delivery and system-wide reforms in more than 50 countries. He personally leads high-stakes engagements with political leaders, such as quarterly cabinet retreats in Canada with PM Justin Trudeau, to help them adopt the delivery approach.
Michael held the first Chair of the Office for Students in the U.K. from 2017 to 2021, and prior to that as Chief Education Advisor at Pearson, Michael led a worldwide program delivering Pearson’s strategy for education in the poorest sectors of the world, especially in fast-growing developing economies.
Michael was a Partner at McKinsey & Company and Head of McKinsey’s global education practice. He is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Exeter. Before joining government he was a professor at the Institute of Education at the University of London.
Sir Michael has written extensively on education at all levels, government delivery and innovation. His most recent publication ‘How Seventeen Secretaries of State for Education, through Thirty Years of Constant Change, Enabled the System to Improve’ was published this month and is a synthesis of the reflections of the UK education ministers since 1986.
Michael’s book Accomplishment: How to achieve ambitious and challenging things was also published earlier this year and sets out the ingredients for success based on the stories of many inspirational people and Michael’s own experiences of delivering success for governments and education systems around the world.
Other books he has authored are Deliverology 101: A Field Guide For Educational Leaders and How to Run A Government: So that Citizens Benefit and Taxpayers Don’t Go Crazy.