Mr McDonald is the inaugural Head of the Office of the Pacific within Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Prior to his appointment, Mr McDonald was Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand, with accreditation to the Cook Islands and Niue, working closely with New Zealand on collaboration and co-operation in the Pacific including implementation of Australia’s ‘step up’ and New Zealand’s ‘reset’. He also worked with the Cook Islands and Niue to support the implementation of their development priorities.
Mr McDonald served as a Deputy Secretary in the department from 2013 where he was responsible for development, humanitarian and multilateral policy and strategy.
Prior to joining DFAT, Mr McDonald was Deputy Director General at AusAID and Deputy Secretary in the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace relations. Mr McDonald’s career has spanned a variety of portfolios in commonwealth and state government covering central agencies and social policy.
Mr McDonald has had a long interest in supporting indigenous staff, as an Indigenous Champion in DFAT and AusAID. Mr McDonald has been a White Ribbon Ambassador since 2011.
Mr McDonald has a strong interest in sport, with a particular passion for AFL and the Essendon Football Club.
Mr McDonald holds a Bachelor of Business.