About Us

Carol McDonald

President & CEO

Planned Parenthood Southeast -

Carol McDonald, MA., is a lifelong organizer passionate about uniting people around a common purpose. A queer Black bilingual non-binary person from the South, Carol, and their thirteen-year-old child reside in the Atlanta Metro area. A servant leader, Carol joined Planned Parenthood as the President and Chief Executive Officer in October 2023.

They are the proud child of an immigrant mother from Surinam. Raised in North Carolina by their mother and stepfather, a military veteran who was raised sharecropping on tobacco farms, Carol has spent the last 30 years organizing, educating, and fighting for women, girls, trans folx, and gender-expansive people.

A trained educator, Carol started their career in education research. After receiving their Master of Arts in Teaching from Emory, Carol taught middle and high school in metro Atlanta. During their time in education, they helped organize a local teacher union. Inspired by the 1997 Million Women’s March on Washington, Carol joined what was then known as Planned Parenthood Georgia, where they helped develop the organization’s first independent expenditure voter education and mobilization program and staffed the Political Action Committee. In 2006, they joined the national staff at Planned Parenthood for America, managing the Southern Regional Desk.

After taking a leave to manage political and surrogate relations for then-Senator Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, Carol returned to Planned Parenthood for America.  In 2009, they moved to Washington, DC, to join their national political office.  Carol spent the next decade helping to engage key communities around the fight for reproductive health, autonomy, and access to quality health care.

In 2015, Carol left Planned Parenthood to establish Meridian Solutions, a social impact strategy firm grounded in the framework of intersectionality. Carol also served as a principal at 76 Words, a Democratic media and strategy firm that develops television, online, and digital advertising for progressive candidates, party committees, ballot initiatives, and issue advocacy organizations. In addition, they served as Senior Strategist at Mission Control,

They earned their Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Master in Teaching from Emory University. They are also a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale. Carol is a founding member of Higher Heights for America and sits on the Board of Directors of United for Respect. They are also a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc.