Kenny McDonald

President & CEO

Columbus Partnership

Kenny McDonald serves as the third president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, a civic organization of Columbus’ top business leaders. The Partnership was founded in 2002 to improve the economic and cultural base of Central Ohio. McDonald is responsible for leading strategies focused on diversity and equity, growth and development, and business and civic innovation, in order for the Columbus Region to achieve its vision to become the most prosperous metropolitan area in the United States.

He brings more than 25 years of experience working with metropolitan economies in Savannah, Georgia;, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Charlotte, North Carolina. He also spent seven years as a global site location advisor for Fluor Corporation.


McDonald has been named one of the Top 50 economic developers by Economix and is a frequent speaker and national thought leader on regional economic development. He was also named Small Nonprofit CEO of the Year by Columbus CEO magazine.

McDonald was instrumental in creating and leading the Columbus Region’s growth strategy when he was selected to lead Columbus 2020, a regional economic development group that was launched in 2010. Now known as One Columbus and housed within the Columbus Partnership, the organization is continuously ranked as one of the top 10 economic development organizations in the United States and represents a public-private partnership of more than 300 investors and partners from an 11-county area.

McDonald has served as chairman of the International Economic Development Council and is an active board member of the Champions of the Community/NCH Invitational, Columbus Regional Airport Authority, Experience Columbus, Ohio Business Roundtable, Ohio Excels, the Transportation Research Center, RTRX, and Ohio State University’s SciTech.

McDonald is a graduate of Dickinson State University, Georgia Southern University, the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma, and Harvard’s Young American Leaders program. He has been a Certified Economic Developer (CecD) for over 20 years. He is married with three children.

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