Jay L. Knott

To Connect

It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind and the earthquake. — Frederick Douglass

Jay is a dynamic strategist and leader who supports teams and organizations to identify big opportunities and critical challenges. He continuously seeks out the team space where conscious empowerment converges harmonically with developing capability to produce positive, sustainable mission impact.

Jay brings deep leadership experience from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. He led the growth of a global consulting and initiative implementation firm, worked internationally in diverse and challenging contexts, and focused on issues that intersect MG’s three focus areas (public health, environment and sustainability, and social justice). Jay has a track record of improving organizational effectiveness; developing individuals and teams; advancing performance, impact, and innovation; helping organizations grow; advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion commitments; and building strong cultures.

His areas of expertise include:

  • Leadership
  • Organizational innovation
  • Strategic planning
  • International development
  • Global strategy and systems


Before joining MG, Jay served as chief operating officer of the Environmental Defense Fund, leading all of its operational systems and functions in a period of significant growth and change. For 10 years, he served as chief business officer at Abt Associates, a global leader in research, evaluation, and technical assistance for health, social-environmental policy, and international development. At Abt, he led domestic and international work, as well as strategy for significant growth. Jay had a successful 20-plus-year career as a leader at USAID, including roles as mission director in Jordan and Mozambique and deputy director in Ghana. Prior to joining USAID, Jay was a practicing attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, focusing on the enforcement of environmental laws.

In Community

As an engaged community member, Jay currently serves on the boards of the Society for International Development (U.S. chapter) and Results for Development Inc., a nonprofit global development partner. His Juris Doctor is from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was president of the Black Law Student Association, and his B.A. is from Yale University, where he double-majored in economics and political science and African studies. He holds an executive certificate in technology and operations from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jay enjoys hiking and mixed martial arts training. He revels in traveling with his wife to warm weather locations and savoring great meals by an ocean. In reference to weather, Jay pretends to, but doesn’t really, understand the phrase, “It’s too hot.” He and his wife also collect modern and contemporary art, including large outdoor sculptures.

Metropolitan Group tiene una compañía hermana con sede en la Ciudad de México. Impacto Social Metropolitan Group