Senior vice-president and chief conservation officer
Mary has built and led collaborative and innovative conservation initiatives across five continents. In southern Africa, she conducted fieldwork documenting the environmental and social impacts of mining and built an action coalition of community groups, scientists, aid agencies and mining executives. From Stockholm, she contributed to drafting the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and was a part of a team of European Union scientists writing protocols for integrating scientific findings into decision-making. From Washington, Mary co-led a World Bank project that established sustainability roundtables in more than 40 developing countries.
At the City of Toronto, Mary initiated the roll-out of more than 10 new initiatives including the Climate Change and Clean Air Action Plan, the Renewable Energy Action Plan and the Green Economic Development Strategy.
Mary has held positions at the Metcalf Foundation, the Stockholm Environment Institute, the United Nations, and the World Bank, the Earth Council, the City of Toronto and with an international engineering firm.
In addition to her work at WWF-Canada, Mary was an advisor to Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City in his capacity as Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.
PublicationsMacDonald. M (2012). Resource Efficient Cities. Briefing Note for the Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Consumption and Production Unit. United Nations Environment Programme,
MacDonald, M. and S.Holtz (2005). Sustainability in Canada. Canadian Institute For Environmental Law and Policy.Toronto/Ottawa.
MacDonald, M. (1998). Agendas for Sustainability. Environment and Development into the Twenty-First Century. Routledge, London/New York.
MacDonald, M., M. J. Chadwick and G.S. Aslanian (1996). The Environmental Management of Low-grade Fuels. Earthscan, London.
M.Sc., University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
STARTED AT WWF: 2013
FAVOURITE SPECIES: Bumblebee – like all pollinators bumblebees play a crucial role in ensuring ecosystem health and the on-going availability of food.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Mary studied pastry making at the École Ritz-Escoffier in Paris.