Buttigieg Shares Some Details About His McKinsey Work But Stays Mum On Clients

The Democratic presidential candidate has publicly called on the prestigious but controversial consulting firm to let him break his nondisclosure agreement.

Pete Buttigieg released an overview of his work at the controversial consulting firm McKinsey & Co. on Friday evening after coming under fire for keeping the details of his time there a secret.

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor who is campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination also publicly called on McKinsey to release him from a nondisclosure agreement about his work there from 2007 to 2010 and allow him to name the clients he worked with during that time.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Here’s the timeline of his work that Buttigieg shared, which describes the type of work he did but does not name any clients:

A timeline of Pete Buttigieg's work at McKinsey.
A timeline of Pete Buttigieg's work at McKinsey.

His focus at the prestigious ― and controversial ― management consulting firm ranged from consumer goods to government contracts. In 2009, he visited Afghanistan and Iraq on behalf of the U.S. government for a project focused on employment in those countries.

“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,” he said Friday.

He noted that his campaign has reached out to McKinsey on two prior occasions to release him from his nondisclosure agreement but that the company had refused.

He will not heed calls for him to break the NDA, he stated.

“I understand why some are calling on me to break the agreement,” he said.
“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.”

Buttigieg’s work at McKinsey has raised some eyebrows because of some of the company’s controversial projects. Earlier this week, several media reports detailed how McKinsey advised U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to cut spending on food, supervision and medical care to immigrants in custody to save money. Buttigieg’s former employer also helped ICE develop a plan to accelerate deportation proceedings.

Immigrant rights groups have since called on him to return more than $50,000 in campaign contributions he’s received from McKinsey employees.

The company has also consulted for Saudi Arabia’s autocratic leadership and corrupt groups in South Africa.