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Donna McKay, MS

Position: Executive Director, New York
Donna McKay

Donna McKay joined PHR as executive director in February 2012. A committed human rights activist, McKay brings more than 20 years of international and domestic nonprofit experience to PHR. As executive director, McKay provides overall leadership and strategic direction for the organization and manages its staff and volunteers globally.

Before joining PHR, she served for nearly a decade as the director of institutional advancement and special projects at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In this senior executive position, she played a critical role in transforming the organization as it responded to the erosion of U.S. civil liberties in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. During McKay’s tenure, the ACLU’s budget tripled, the size of the headquarters staff doubled, and the organization’s assets more than tripled, propelling the ACLU to number 160 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of the 400 largest nonprofits.

While at the ACLU, McKay designed and led “Leading Freedom Forward,” a national campaign to significantly expand the ACLU’s presence in the South and Midwest Regions. She worked with a nationwide team of staff and volunteers who raised over $400 million for this special initiative. She also co-founded and helped manage an International Civil Liberties Network, comprising some of the world’s most esteemed civil liberties groups.

Prior to the ACLU, McKay served as vice president for development at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and chaired the Campaign to Eliminate Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus Worldwide. She also helped direct awareness and resources to the worldwide HIV/AIDs pandemic.

Previously, as a director and senior program officer at Planned Parenthood of New York City, she developed sexual and reproductive health and rights programs in Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.

McKay holds an MS in non-profit management and urban policy from the New School for Social Research.