Alt of image

People / CEO, Gagen MacDonald /


CEO, Gagen MacDonald

Maril MacDonald is CEO of Gagen MacDonald and a member of the board and Global Leadership Team at APCO. A nationally recognized leader in communication, strategy execution and transformation, she has pioneered a discipline that collaborates with corporate leaders to optimize business performance by engaging and mobilizing their workforce behind a company’s strategic goals, its culture and its brand. Her clients have included some of the world’s most recognized brands, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Coca-Cola, DuPont, GE, Johnson & Johnson and United Airlines.

Ms. MacDonald is also founder of Let Go & Lead, an online community dedicated to new philosophies and strategies for leadership. Until its successful sale in 2016, she was the CEO of Son&Sons, a leading branding and identity firm.

Ms. MacDonald is a current board member of American University and the Women Presidents’ Organization, a non-profit international membership organization for successful female entrepreneurs. She is also past chairman and long-serving board member of the Arthur W. Page Society and the Institute for Public Relations and serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Museum of Public Relations and the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Relations. Ms. MacDonald previously served as chief communication officer and Executive Management Committee member for Navistar and its operating company International Truck and Engine Corporation. She worked closely with CEO John Horne to direct the company’s highly successful cultural turnaround. This was a key factor in Navistar’s resurgence from the brink of bankruptcy to being named in the Wall Street Journal’s Top 10 Performers list and Business Week’s Top 50 Companies list.

Prior to joining Navistar, she was vice president of communications for Pitman-Moore Inc., and held several leadership positions spanning operations, communications, and human resources with Bayer USA and The Standard Oil Company/British Petroleum. Her broad range of corporate experience has allowed her to claim “the white space between the silos” as her area of ultimate functional expertise. Ms. MacDonald is a recipient of Arthur W. Page Society’s Hall of Fame and Distinguished Service Awards and has been recognized by PR Week as one of the top 25 leaders in the industry and one of The 50 Most Powerful Women in PR.

Ms. MacDonald holds a B.A. in Communication from Purdue University.