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Kenny McDonald, One Columbus CEO
President and Chief Economic Officer

Kenny McDonald, CEcD


Role and Responsibilities

Kenny has served as president and chief economic officer of One Columbus, formerly Columbus 2020, since the organization’s inception in 2010. He has helped lead the execution of the One Columbus Regional Growth Strategy and development of the Columbus Region’s competitiveness agenda, and he has also built local and national partnerships that have accelerated the area’s development.

Kenny has over 20 years of regional economic development and management consulting experience focused on helping companies develop and execute their location strategies and helping communities achieve their goals.

McDonald has an extensive economic development background, having held positions in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and New Mexico. He was also a principal consultant at Fluor’s Global Locations Strategies unit, working with companies to evaluate locations across North America, Asia and Europe.

Kenny has worked with a variety of industries including automotive, biotechnology, aerospace, pharma and advanced electronics. He has consulted manufacturing and logistics operations and advised numerous headquarters, research and development, and technology facilities.

McDonald serves as the chair of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), and is committed to developing the profession to meet the changing needs of business and government. He also serves on numerous local boards of directors and is a frequent speaker on the subject of regional economic competitiveness.

Kenny resides with his wife and three children in New Albany.

Awards and Recognitions

  • CEO of the Year, Columbus CEO magazine, 2017
  • Executive Order of the Ohio Commodores, 2016
  • Top 50 Economic Developer, Consultant Connect, 2015

Past Experience and Education

  • Executive Vice President, Charlotte Regional Partnership
  • Principal Consultant, Fluor Corporation
  • CEcD, University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute
  • M.P.A., Public Administration, Georgia Southern University
  • B.S., Business Administration, Dickinson State University

Board and Community Involvement

  • Chair, International Economic Development Council
  • Board of Directors, Columbus Chamber of Commerce
  • Board of Directors, Columbus Collaboratory
  • Board of Directors, Experience Columbus
  • Board of Directors, SciTech
  • Board of Directors, Transportation Research Center



Why do you work in economic development? 

The economic developer’s mission is as important as any nonprofit’s in the community. Helping create job opportunities for people is incredibly motivating. We're impacting lives in the most fundamental way.