April 19, 2022, Georgetown DE: Ambassador Tom McDonald has joined the Board of Directors of Pathways to Success. He is a partner in the Vorys, Sater, LLP, in Washington, D.C., office and leads the firm’s administrative and regulatory law and governmental policy practice. A former U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe from 1997 to 2001, he provides strategic business and government relations counsel in Washington, D.C., and internationally. McDonald regularly advises corporate CEOs and chief legal officers on a variety of government relations issues in Washington, internationally, and in major U.S. state capitals.
Ambassador McDonald gives back through an active pro bono practice, including serving as lead counsel for all the plaintiffs in the Coalition for Education Reform in Coalition for Education Reform, et al. v. Indian River School District. The case, which is a civil rights case of national consequence, centered around the Indian River School District’s George Washington Carver Academy, a public school located in Frankford, Delaware. The lawsuit alleged that this academy has been operated by the Indian River School District as a segregated dumping ground for African-American males ages 3 to 18 in the same school building. Tom’s efforts led to the signing of the consent order in November of 2019 by Federal Judge Andrews, which ended the Carver Academy program at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. The order also ensured there was a special master appointed for five years to make sure that the Indian River School District doesn’t return to its discriminatory conduct/policies.
Ambassador McDonald received his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. Throughout his legal career, he has had continued involvement with the law school. He currently serves on its advisory board and regularly advises the law school regarding the admission of Somali American students. He received his B.A. from George Washington University.
“I’m thrilled to join the Pathways to Success Board,” said A McDonald. “Throughout my career, I have found opportunities to support youth and families located in at-risk communities, so service with Pathways to Success is an important way to continue these efforts in Delaware, where I have invested a significant amount of time and interest in the community and also have a home in Rehoboth Beach DE.”
Fay Blake, Pathways to Success Founder and Executive Director, said: “I’m thrilled that Ambassador McDonald has agreed to join our Pathways to Success Board. His diverse background and experience and an authentic desire to promote inclusion, equity, and advocacy for the underserved and marginalized make him an invaluable asset to the Pathways to Success boards’ mission”.