Member of the NYSERDA Board
Joan McDonald was nominated by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on January 14, 2011 to serve as the 11th Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation, and was unanimously confirmed by the New York State Senate on March 8, 2011.
An expert on transportation, infrastructure, economic development, policy and planning, Ms. McDonald serves as a key member of Governor Cuomo’s cabinet, and brings her vision for a safe, effective, and efficient transportation system to New York State.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. McDonald served as the Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development for the State of Connecticut and chair of Connecticut Innovations, an authority providing venture capital to high tech start-up companies. From 2003 to 2007, she was the senior vice president of transportation for the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Her private sector experience includes five years as the vice president in charge of New York and New Jersey at Jacobs Engineering.
Ms. McDonald was deputy commissioner for planning and traffic operations for the New York City Department of Transportation from 1995 to 1998 and served as the director of Capital and Long Range Planning for the MTA Metro-North Railroad for the three previous years. She served as special assistant to the speaker of the New York State Assembly from 1991 to 1992. She began her career in public service with the New York State Assembly in 1978, serving in various capacities on the Ways and Means and House Operations Committees, including Deputy Budget Director and Assistant Director of Research.
Ms. McDonald received her bachelor’s degree in English from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY, and a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.