Donna McNamara

Donna McNamara, a Senior Leadership Consultant with EDA, is a global leader in helping organizations to improve business results through learning, leadership and organization development. Formerly the vice president of global education and training for Colgate-Palmolive Company, she developed and implemented Colgate’s world-wide learning strategy, designed the company’s business goal alignment process and built leadership capability in accelerating effective change.

Prior to Colgate, she was an executive with AT&T in human resources, education, and strategic planning. Donna is a past national president of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), a recipient of the Gordon M. Bliss Award for distinguished contribution, and a former member of the Society’s Board of Directors and Board of Governors. Currently, she serves on the National Nuclear Training Accreditation Board for INPO (Institute of Nuclear Power Operations), is a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, and serves as Chairperson for ASTD’s Editorial Advisory Board. She is also an Advisory Board Member and Co-Academic Director for the Chief Learning Officer graduate program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Donna received a Ph.D. in education and human resources from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.


  • Led the design, development, delivery and evaluation of a global curriculum to build excellence in leadership, marketing, sales, and supply chain functions essential to competitive success. The curriculum included 150 custom programs with 30,000 participants from 80 countries annually.
  • Implemented a strategy of business ownership for continuous learning, world-wide transfer of best practices, practical/action-oriented and performance relevant training investments directly tied to the corporate long range growth plan.
  • Created and introduced an enterprise-wide business directions series designed to increase understanding and commitment to new strategic priorities. Delivered to 70,000 participants over a seven year period.
  • Led the development and implementation of a world-wide e-Learning strategy resulting in improved access to essential skills, shortened learning cycles, increased productivity, and decreased training costs.
  • Spearheaded strategy development, organization design, and transition planning for three education and training organizations responsible for $100 million in annual revenues.


  • Designed and consulted with organizations on enterprise-wide, integrated leadership development and talent management strategies, processes and systems directly linked to strategic business plans. Organizations include: consumer products, telecommunications, computer systems and financial industry companies.
  • Redefined leadership competencies, established strategic staffing and succession systems, and revitalized the career development system to support the acquisition and retention of key executive and technical talent within a global research and engineering organization.
  • Coached executives to improve personal leadership skills and meet business challenges. Individual clients ranged from seasoned business unit heads to newly promoted managers. Business leadership challenges have included: dramatic cultural transition, significant market place expansion, multiple operating unit mergers, and restructuring for increased productivity.
  • Led the development and implementation of several award-winning leadership, high potential and mentoring programs designed to ensure commitment to company values, accelerated learning, and effective on-boarding.
  • Facilitated the talent management and succession planning processes for the leadership council of a 17,000 global manufacturing function.

Organization Development

  • Facilitated business unit goal alignment with Division Presidents, General Managers and senior leadership teams in more than 35 countries spanning both developed and emerging markets.
  • Designed the change management framework, processes, tools, best practices resources, and training to build skills and accelerate the effective implementation of change initiatives both globally and locally.
  • Implemented human resources plans, systems and processes, high impact communications and employee involvement initiatives to create a results-oriented environment of innovation and continuous improvement.
  • Pioneered the establishment of a customer-focused performance management system to achieve business results, drive cross-functional teamwork and improve productivity.
  • Led organization design, job definition, and recruitment to support the 400% expansion of a start-up consumer telecommunications venture.

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