George T. McDonald was nominated to the Board of Commissioners by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and joined the Board on July 3, 2017.
Mr. McDonald is the founder and president of The Doe Fund, a New York City-based nonprofit organization that has provided thousands of individuals the economic opportunity required to break the cycles of poverty and incarceration and rebuild their lives. Since 1985, The Doe Fund has served over 22,000 people with paid work, transitional housing, employment skills and social services through the nationally replicated Ready, Willing & Able program.
Under Mr. McDonald's visionary leadership, The Doe Fund was an early developer of the now-ubiquitous social enterprise model; the organization has operated revenue-generating businesses to sustain its programs since the late 1980s. To date, The Doe Fund has generated $800 million in revenue, $74 million in taxes paid and has provided more than $250 million in earned income for clients of Ready, Willing & Able. A 2010 study by researchers at Harvard University found that the program reduced future felony convictions of graduates by as much as 60 percent and cut participants' risk of any type of police contact by one-third. A separate independent cost analysis of the program determined the social return on investment of Ready, Willing & Able to be $3.60 for every dollar utilized by it.
Prior to The Doe Fund, Mr. McDonald built a reputation as an advocate for the homeless and champion of bipartisan criminal justice reform. He previously served on the Executive Committee of Governor Andrew Cuomo's Work for Success Program and as a member of Mayor David Dinkins' Commission on the Homeless. There, he played a key role in the landmark 1992 publication “The Way Home: A New Direction in Social Policy," which set the framework for how the city addressed the homeless crisis in the coming years. In 2014, Mr. McDonald was appointed by Governor Cuomo to serve on the New York State Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration.
Mr. McDonald is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness' Home for Every American Award, the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research's William E. Simon Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship, an honorary doctorate from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, a New York Post Liberty Medal and the St. John's University Spirit of Service Award.
Committee Assignments: Audit, Governance and Ethics, Security.
Term: 07/03/17 - 06/30/2018 *
* Commissioners serve without remuneration for six-year overlapping terms. A Commissioner whose term expires continues to serve until reappointment or the appointment and qualification of a successor.