We the Partnership

Why I support the Partnership for Public Service

By Robert A. McDonald
November 26, 2018 | Updated on July 1, 2021

Robert McDonald and his wife Diane at the 2018 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals awards gala in October.

“Living a life driven by purpose is more meaningful and rewarding than meandering through life without direction.”

This philosophy has guided me throughout my life. It inspired me to attend West Point, which steered me toward becoming an airborne ranger infantry officer in the United States Army. It led me to a rewarding 33-year career at Proctor & Gamble Company, where I ultimately served as chairman, president and CEO. It called me to serve as the secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and eventually as a board member of the Partnership for Public Service, an organization to which I gladly donate my time, energy and resources.

The Partnership is uniquely positioned to make our government better. It has the strong nonpartisan reputation needed to engage lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. It works collaboratively with leaders across government. And, it has the expertise to develop and promote solutions that improve how our government works.

Board of Directors: I joined the Partnership’s board in May 2017. In this role, I use my government and private sector experience and the lessons I have learned throughout my career to help guide the Partnership’s work.

Speaking engagements: Through its leadership development programs, the Partnership reaches thousands of government’s most talented leaders and helps prepare them to be successful in their roles and their agencies. I enjoy the opportunities I have to speak with these individuals and remind them of their critical role in engendering public trust, serving the American people and delivering on the mission of their agencies. It’s always inspiring to connect with these civil servants who have committed their lives to serving the public good.

Government Leadership Advisory Council: As co-chair of this council, I am helping to shape the Partnership’s approach to leadership development in ways that align with my personal commitment to values-based leadership. It is exceptionally rewarding to be part of a group of accomplished leadership practitioners from academia, business, government and the social sector who are committed to helping the Partnership develop world-class federal leaders.

Financial support: My wife Diane and I are intentional in our philanthropic commitments and have chosen to invest in the institutions that reflect our values and pursue missions that are of critical importance to society. I contribute to the organization each year and am confident that the Partnership uses these funds wisely to advance its mission.

The bottom line: Get involved in something that inspires a sense of purpose. Find something you are passionate about and engage in a way that is most meaningful for you.

Support the Partnership on #GivingTuesday

Contributions can be in the form of personal donations, community fundraisers or volunteer work. Want to participate in the Partnership’s #GivingTuesday campaign? Visit here to learn how!


Robert A. McDonald