Carol McDonald, Senior Strategist

Carol McDonald is a social justice activist with 20 years of experience in political organizing, issue campaign management, constituency engagement, and volunteer management, all with an emphasis on communities of color. Most recently, she was the Director of the Strategic Partnerships team at Planned Parenthood Action Fund, a department she created in 2011 that focuses on African American and Latino community engagement. She also led an organization-wide race equity initiative to improve work with marginalized communities and developing a plan for organizational change. For eight years, she managed electoral and issue campaigns for Planned Parenthood, including the field campaign around passage of the Affordable Care Act, the independent expenditures for the 2008 and 2012 federal electoral campaigns, and a public education campaign in partnership with MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation called Get Yourself Tested (GYT). In 2012, she directed the documentary A Vital Service: African American Stories of Reproductive Health Care.

In 2007, Carol left Planned Parenthood for six months to join the historic campaign of Hillary Clinton for President where she served as Deputy Political Director in Iowa and worked with top-tier surrogates in several primary and caucus states.

Carol serves as vice-chair of the Board of Directors of Higher Heights for America, an organization dedicated to building the political leadership and engagement of black women. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Religious Institute, a multi-faith organization dedicated to advocating for sexual health, education and justice in faith communities and society. Previously, Carol served on the Board of Directors for Georgians for Choice (now SPARK Reproductive Justice Now) and Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions.

Carol is often asked to share her knowledge of issue advocacy, electoral campaigns and strategic planning with groups like the Congressional Black Caucus, Campaign for America’s Future, People for the American Way, the New Organizing Institute, the US Conference on AIDS, and the Arcus Foundation. She has been a guest lecturer on organizing and social media at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Carol received a B.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a M.A. in teaching from Emory University.