Autumn McDonald

Senior Fellow & Head of New America CA

Autumn McDonald is a senior fellow and head of New America CA—the largest hub of New America—which is focused on issues of economic equity, income, and the changing nature work. Community engagement and perspective are paramount, with a particular focus on elevating the voice and power of those with lived experiences. The team uses human-centered research, facilitation, and narrative to influence systems and policies and drive transformative change for those most marginalized.

McDonald has two decades of experience working with foundations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies on strategy, advocacy, and civic innovation. 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, she 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, where she led a range of strategy projects. Throughout her career, McDonald has led work related to economic mobility, education, place-based initiatives, and distressed communities.

McDonald serves on the boards of Equal Rights Advocates and 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.

Recent Speaking Engagements

Stakeholder Capitalism Forum, at Salesforce

Urban America Forward: Equity Solutions in Place

SSIR Nonprofit Management Institute, with Mayors of Oakland & Stockton

Near Future Summit

Climate Change and Democracy, at Bloomberg Beta