Brian McDonald

Brian McDonald

Vice President, Strategic Planning, International Paper

MF'84, Forestry

Brian is a global business leader (more than 15 years outside of the US) who has developed and implemented key strategic entry strategies for Russia, China and Asia. Brian is also deeply experienced at developing and implementing key portfolio strategies at the enterprise level. He is experienced at corporate turnarounds in the most severe/ambiguous environments.  Brian has held leadership roles in forestry, manufacturing, commercial operations, at the Business Unit level and corporate strategy and business development.  Brian has been Deputy CEO of Ilim Group -- Russia's largest forest products company -- where he developed and successfully implemented a $1 billion expansion project in Siberia where he was also responsible for managing 5+ million hectares of forestlands, 10,000+ employees and $320+ million in EBITDA. Brian has been President of Asia for International Paper, Vice President Investor Relations for International Paper, and is currently Vice President of Strategic Planning for International Paper.

Brian served two terms as a Board of Visitors member of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, and has served on the Board of Eisenhower Fellowships, and Carter Holt Harvey (New Zealand's 2nd largest listed company at the time).

Brian earned an MBA from University of Virgina, and his BA from Brandeis University. He speaks English and Russian, and is conversant in German.

"Technical knowledge opens the door but the ability to think broadly and deeply is what sets a true leader and change agent apart. I will always be thankful to the exposure to the deep thinkers and true leaders that the Nicholas School provided me. I believe it is a key attribute that helps set me apart."

Program Area

Master of Forestry