SSRC Staff

Mary McDonnell

Executive Director


Dr. McDonnell received the Ph.D. in history from Columbia University with a focus on Southeast Asia and the Arab Middle East. She has master's degrees in both international affairs and journalism, also from Columbia, and worked as a journalist covering Asian and Middle Eastern affairs before joining the Council in 1986. For many years, McDonnell was the program director for East Asia and Indochina programs. In June 1997 she was appointed executive program director. In 1999 she was promoted to Executive Director, in which position she serves as Chief Operating Officer of the Council. In addition to her work directly for the Council, Dr. McDonnell has written widely on East and Southeast Asia. She has also become a prominent resource for universities and colleges as they consider the reorganization of international studies. Dr. McDonnell is a section editor for the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. She has also served as chair of the Association of Asian Studies' Vietnam Studies Group and is a member of the Indochina Roundtable and the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. In 2009, Dr. McDonnell was appointed to the board of directors at the School of Social Development and Public Policy at Beijing Normal University.