Autumn McDonald

Senior Fellow & Head of New America CA

Autumn McDonald is a senior fellow, head of New America CA, and a member of New America’s leadership team. Her work focuses on issues of economic equity, community engagement, resident voice, policy influence, and narrative change.

McDonald has more than two decades of experience working with foundations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies on strategy, advocacy, civic innovation, and social impact. Before joining New America, McDonald served as a senior advisor to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee through the FUSE Corps executive fellowship.

During her tenure, McDonald led the women's economic empowerment agenda, shaping policies and public-private initiatives to improve economic opportunity for women and families throughout the Bay Area. Prior to that, McDonald worked with FSG, a social impact consulting firm serving large, small, community, and family foundations. 

McDonald’s writing has been published by numerous media outlets, including Slate, The Washington Post, Stanford Social Innovation ReviewProject SyndicatePacific StandardCalMatters, and Britannica Parents.

McDonald serves on the board of KQED, Women’s Foundation of California, and as Chair of the board for Lincoln Families. She has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, a master’s from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a master’s from the Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy. She, her husband, and their three children live in Oakland.