John McDonald joined the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as manager of projects and planning in August 2019. In this role, Mr. McDonald serves as a project manager on foundation-wide efforts.
Mr. McDonald has over 10 years of experience leading project management, strategic communications, and strategic planning efforts in higher education and the public sector. Most recently, he served as chief of staff at the Columbia University School of Social Work where he was the principal consultant to top leadership, and oversaw project management and communications efforts across the organization. Prior to Columbia, Mr. McDonald was the assistant vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and director of project management for the State University of New York, the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, where he led internal management consulting services. Before joining the State University of New York, Mr. McDonald played a pivotal role in the development of the New York State Developmental Disabilities Council's 2012–2016 strategic plan.
Mr. McDonald is a graduate of the University at Albany where he received both his bachelor of arts and master of arts.