This website features the work of Bob McKinnon. He is a writer, designer, podcast host, children’s author and teacher. What unites all of his work is the desire to help others move up in life – just as others have helped him.

As a writer, he is the author of the Moving Up Mondays Substack newsletter and two books — the New York Times bestseller Three Little Engines is a  modern retelling of the beloved The Little Engine That Could story,  Actions Speak Loudest: Keeping Our Promise for A Better World is a collection of essays featuring contributions from President Jimmy Carter, Queen Noor of Jordan, Rachael Ray, Dave Eggers, Mia Hamm, Jeffrey Sachs, and Geoffrey Canada among many others.

Bob’s latest children’s book, America’s Dreaming has just been published by Penguin Random House in June 2024.

His writing and work has been featured in The New York Times, CBS Sunday Morning, Esquire, Parents, The Boston Globe, PBS, NPR, Fast Company, and The Huffington Post among other outlets.

Bob is also the founder of the non-profit organization, The Moving Up Media Lab, whose mission is to inspire people to reflect on who and what has contributed to where they are today. Their first initiative “Your American Dream Score”, created with support from the Ford Foundation, helped almost a million people discover what factors may have helped or hindered their own efforts in life and is now the basis of curriculum developed by PBS Learning. In late 2020, they launched the  award-winning NPR podcast, Attribution with Bob McKinnon, about success and gratitude.  Guests have included Deepak Chopra,  Joy Oladokun, Nicholas Kristof, Daryl McDaniels of Run DMC, Master Chef Aaron Sanchez and poker champion and author, Maria Konnikova among others.   

He has also produced and hosted a series of NPR special programs on subjects ranging from educational inequity, disability and social isolation.  His most recent special was a retrospective on the 50th anniversary of The Piano Man, featuring an interview with Billy Joel.

Through his consultancy, GALEWiLL Design, Mr. McKinnon has led teams that have redesigned the food stamp program for the state of California, inspired children to become more physically active by finding their VERB for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and created new ways for youth to stay above the influence for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Working on issues ranging from childhood obesity to criminal justice to climate change, he has  partnered with leading social change organizations such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The International Olympic Committee, Communities in Schools, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sesame Workshop, and the Vera Institute of Justice – among many others – to help millions overcome obstacles on their way to a healthier and happier life. 

Finally, he is an adjunct professor at both the Parsons School of Design and the Colin Powell School of Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York, where they have just launched  The Social Mobility Lab aimed to accelerate and expand opportunities for both students and young people across the country. 

He lives in the New York City area with his wife and three daughters.

In the spirit of Moving Up, this is Bob’s alternative bio: “Bob McKinnon is the son of Daytona Roth, a former bartender who raised three children largely by herself in various row houses in Chelsea, Massachusetts and trailers in rural Pennsylvania. He is a proud former recipient of food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, Pell grants, student loans and numerous other government benefits. His educational and professional success would not be possible without the kindness and efforts of countless teachers, mentors, social workers, friends, family, non-profit workers, and individuals – many of whom will never know their impact on his life.

Through his writing and work, he hopes to pay tribute and thanks to all those who have helped him and others move up in life.

If you’re interested in connecting with Bob for a school or library visit related to his children’s books, please contact allyson@bookedauthors.com.  For all other speaking inquiries, please email Les Tuerk at les@brightsightgroup.com.  As an example of his talks, please watch his recent commencement address at Penn State University below:

For all other inquiries, please email dorothy@galewill.com.