Board of Directors Chairman the Honorable Robert A. McDonald '75

Robert A. McDonald was confirmed by the Senate to be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on July 29, 2014. Secretary McDonald led the Department in its ambitious transformational journey to be the top customer-service agency in the federal government. That undertaking began with reinforcing the importance of VA’s inspiring mission to care for those “who shall have borne the battle,” their families, and their survivors, and re-emphasizing VA’s commitment to its values.

Over the course of Secretary McDonald’s tenure, VA expanded Veteran access by focusing on staffing, space, productivity, and VA Community Care. VA continued driving down the disability claims backlog while positioning the Department for sweeping appeals reform. And VA made substantial progress in eliminating Veteran homelessness. The Harvard Business School’s November 2016 study of the transformation judged that the VA “made impressive progress.”

Secretary McDonald spent 33-years with the Procter & Gamble Company, retiring as chairman, president and CEO in 2013. During his tenure, the corporation was widely recognized for its leader development. In 2012, Chief Executive magazine named P&G the best company for developing leaders. The Hay Group, a global management consulting firm, consistently cited P&G in its top-tier of the “Best Companies for Leadership” study. Secretary McDonald significantly recalibrated P&G’s product portfolio, expanded its marketing footprint, added nearly one billion people to its global customer base, and grew the firm’s organic sales by an average of three percent per year.

P&G’s stock price rose from $51.10 the day he became CEO to $81.64 on the day his last quarterly results were announced—a 60 percent increase. A Distinguished Graduate of the United States Military Academy, Secretary McDonald graduated in the top two percent of his class in 1975 and was recognized by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturing, and Commerce for the “most distinguished academic record and significant role in cadet activities.” He served as brigade adjutant. He later earned an MBA from the University of Utah in 1978, where he is a Distinguished Alumnus. He is in his second term on the West Point Association of Graduates Board of Directors. Secretary McDonald and his wife are members of the Eisenhower Society of lifetime giving (contributions of over $5M), Cullum Society (gift provided in will), and most recently donated the statue of Ulysses S. Grant to West Point.

Secretary McDonald served primarily with the 82nd Airborne Division. He completed Jungle, Arctic, and Desert Warfare training; and earned the Ranger Tab, the Expert Infantryman Badge, and Senior Parachutist Wings. Upon leaving the military, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. Secretary McDonald and his wife are the parents of two grown children and proud grandparents of six grandchildren.