Instructor Biography

Commissioner Joan McDonald

Joan McDonald of New York City has been appointed as Commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development following a national search for an expert to lead the governor's business development, job creation and responsible growth initiatives.

McDonald has twenty-five years of government and private sector experience in strategic planning, economic development, transportation policy and operations and public finance. She served as Senior Vice President for Transportation at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Deputy Commissioner for Planning and Traffic Operations for the New York City DOT, and Deputy Budget Director for the New York State Assembly's Ways and Means Committee. Her private sector experience includes work as a private consultant and a position as Vice President of Jacobs Engineering of New York.

McDonald was educated at LeMoyne College and earned a Masters of Public Administration degree from Harvard University.

Among her professional accomplishments:

" Lead negotiator for 50-year lease for LaGuardia and Kennedy Airports, the largest real estate transaction in New York City's history.

" Oversaw final design and construction if the Staten Island Railroad, an $83 million construction project

" Developed the East River Waterfront Community Plan which integrated commercial development with transportation improvements and community open space.

" As Deputy Commissioner for Planning at NYC DOT, supervised a staff of 500 employees with an annual budget of $112 million.