Elan MacDonald, Vice-President External Relations

Elan MacDonald brings a wealth of experience in building community and government partnerships and leading strategic communications to the University of Alberta. A government relations expert with 25 years’ experience working with political, community, public and private sector agencies and organizations, she was most recently Senior Vice President, National Client Development at Global Public Affairs, a national consultancy focused on strategic communications and government advocacy. Ms. MacDonald also built and ran her own public affairs firm, IMPACT Consulting, for close to a decade. Through her work, she has served as deputy chief of staff and political advisor to two Alberta premiers, as well as a political advisor to cabinet ministers.

A graduate of the University of Calgary, Ms. MacDonald has lived and worked in Alberta throughout her career, including as a member of U of A’s government relations team in 2001. She is currently vice-chair of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and a director on the boards of Edmonton Global, Atlas Biotechnologies, and Alberta Ballet. She has also been a director on the boards of the NorQuest College 1000 Women Advisory Board and Edmonton Police Foundation.

Under Elan MacDonald’s leadership, the External Relations portfolio (formerly University Relations and Advancement) is responsible for advancing and enhancing the relationships, reputation, and story of the University of Alberta through communications, marketing, digital strategies, government and community relations, development, and alumni relations.