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Maura Donlan

Senior Leader in Social Impact, Advocacy, and Global Philanthropy

Work experience



Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy
  •  Conceptualize and produce programming relative to philanthropy and social impact at Milken Institute convenings, including its Global Conference, London, Asia, Future of Health Summits, and Middle East and Africa Summits
  • Initiate and negotiate primary partnerships for the Center for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP)
  • Direct CSP outreach and communications, including thought leadership, digital presence, social media strategy, and long form/short form content
2016 present

Senior Advisor


Strategic consultant for a range of select clients in high-level advocacy, thought leadership and strategic communications. Clients included: BRAC USA, Bridge International Academies, CARE, Democracy Fund, Global Partnership Forum, IREX and Young African Leaders Initiative.



  • Marketing & Communications team member at eBay founder Omidyar's philanthropic investment firm designed to create opportunity by investing in market-based efforts that catalyze economic and social change
  • Conceptualized, managed and directed the execution of global advocacy and communications campaigns to promote impact investing, property rights, financial inclusion and entrepreneurship with a special emphasis on thought leader engagement

Senior Vice President

  • Part of senior leadership at top-tier strategic communications and advocacy firm that is committed to effecting real and lasting global change
  • Provided internal and external counsel on corporate citizenship and global development issues, including financial inclusion, health interventions and enhanced thought leadership
  • Managed GMMB's London office from 2008-2010
  • Senior account leader responsible for oversight, execution and budgeting for the United Nations Advisors Group for Inclusive Financial Sectors, Medicines for Malaria Ventures, Happy Hearts Fund and the Center for Financial Services Innovation, supervising and implementing all aspects of digital engagement, thought leadership development, branding/positioning and marketing campaigns and public relations outreach 
  • Senior corporate citizenship advisor for Fortune 100 companies, including Johnson & Johnson, and Visa, Inc.

Director of Policy & Communications

Turner Enterprises, Inc. | Ted Turner's Private Interests & Philanthropies | United Nations Foundation
  • Led and managed public affairs, media relations, reputation management and strategic outreach for Ted Turner's private interests, including the Turner Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Turner Ranches, Ted's Montana Grill and Ted Turner Pictures
  • Reported directly to Turner and managed his day-to-day policy and communications needs, including speech and op-ed writing, reputation management, executive visibility and crisis communications
  • Provided high-level counsel on global development and philanthropy
  • Managed outreach, advocacy and communications strategies for the Coalition for Adolescent Girls (CAG), a joint venture with the Nike Foundation designed to raise the profile of adolescent girls on the international development agenda 

Programme Management Officer (acting) - Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS

United Nations Development Programme
  • Portfolio: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Saint Helena

Project Evaluator/Gender Analyst

United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Evaluated UNDP-funded, social reinsertion program for demobilized soldiers and their families under the mandate of the 1994 Lusaka Accords Peace Agreement
  • Reviewed and assessed current programming and made strategic management and project implementation recommendations to ensure effective community reintegration for demobilized soldiers and, in particular, their spouses and children
  • Projects evaluated included: counseling and referral services; community/infrastructural rehabilitation; vocational training; and, microenterprise development

Gender Advisor

United Nations Development Programme
  • Advised Gender Programme Coordinator on all aspects of program design and development, including formulating and drafting project documents, and managing, implementing and evaluating gender-focused programs throughout Africa
  • Principal organizer for Regional Roundtable(Johannesburg, December 1997), designed to begin the process of“ gender mainstreaming” at UNDP country offices in Africa

Technical Advisor | Civic Organizing, Voter Education

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs

Developed and refined organizational strategy and project development for civic education activities, including constitutional development, local government administration and voter education for 1998 municipal elections. Created and executed deployment plan for 1000+ domestic monitors for 1997 parliamentary elections in collaboration with the Society for Democratic Culture, an Albanian, nonpartisan, civic education organization


Resident Project Manager | Regional Program Officer

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs
  • Oversaw USAID-funded parliamentary assistance program that supported provincial assemblies elected in 1994.  Designed and executed field-based constituent outreach, parliamentary procedure and government transparency trainings, including counsel and support to the creation of women caucuses in at least three assemblies
  • Managed staff of four
  • Principal coordinator for 15-person, nationwide survey mission
  • Oversaw program management of eight USAID- and National Endowment for Democracy-funded political development and election observation programs in Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia; managed staff of seven.  Managed grant compliance and developed public information for in-country activity.  Official observer to 1994 South Africa elections.