Alonzo L. McDonald died November 21, 2019 in Naples, Florida. He was 91 years old. Mr. McDonald was born August 5, 1928 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mr. McDonald was an American businessman and philanthropist. Born on the cusp of the Great Depression as the oldest child and first son in a family that valued hard work and self-sufficiency, Al McDonald rose from his roots in a small Georgia town named for the Greek “lithos” in tribute to the granite vein beneath it to the pinnacle of international business and its intersection with world politics, global academia, and impactful philanthropy.
It was sometimes mentioned that Al climbed up enough rungs of the ladders of business, government and academia to see over the proverbial walls these three ladders leaned against. He didn’t like what he saw on the other side of any of them. In his later decades the questions of God and the vocation of philanthropy were among his foci and passion.
Mr. McDonald graduated from Emory University in 1948 and went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps from 1950 to 1952. He then attended Harvard Business School where he received his M.B.A. in 1956. Mr. McDonald married Suzanne Moffitt and together they raised four children.
Mr. McDonald had an impressive career. He started as a reporter for The Atlanta Journal from 1948 to 1950 and then worked for the Westinghouse Electric Corporation from 1956 to 1960. He worked for McKinsey & Company till 1977, becoming a partner and later becoming McKinsey’s sixth Global Managing Partner and Worldwide CEO in a career that spanned roles in New York, London, Zurich, Milan, and Paris. In 1977 he was appointed to Deputy Special Trade Representative and Ambassador. In that role he led the U.S. Delegation to a successful completion of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in Geneva. In 1979, he was appointed Assistant to the President of the United States and White House Staff Director under President Jimmy Carter.
Mr. McDonald served as President and Vice Chairman of the Bendix Corporation from 1981 to 1983. In 1981, he also became a faculty member of the Harvard Business School and served as Senior Counselor to the Dean until 1987. In 1983, he founded the Avenir Group, a private investment company.
Mr. McDonald devoted his later decades to questions of faith and Christian philanthropy with the same zeal, strategic focus and drive for excellence exhibited throughout his life. He co-founded The Trinity Forum and then became the founder and chairman of The McDonald Agape Foundation. Both are focused on how the life and teachings of Jesus Christ marked a turning point in human history. The former focuses on the questions among leaders and thinkers. The latter among and across academia by Encouraging Distinguished Scholars for Christ at distinguished global universities across the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. This work intersects the questions of theology, faith and religion with the topics of ethics, law, medicine, policy, the arts and more. In these later decades he also became Catholic, accepting full communion in the Catholic church at the age of 79.
Mr. McDonald is buried among his monastic friends at a New Melleray Abbey outside of Dubuque, Iowa. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne; children Alex (Peggy), Denise (Claude) Dampierre, Jennifer (Alan) Peters, and Peter (Marie); 12 grandchildren, and two brothers.
Peter McDonald Chairman
Peter McDonald is Chairman and President of the McDonald Agape Foundation, a small family foundation that encourages distinguished scholars for Christ at elite universities in areas of theology and where theology intersects with medicine, law, ethics, the arts and more. The Foundation’s focus is to leave a small footprint for Christ in great universities with scholars who have attained the highest levels of scholarship and represent strong models of spiritual knowledge and faith.
Prior to his role as President, Peter was an active foundation board member and vice chairman. His vocation was that of a cybersecurity expert with areas of expertise on data science, data protection and online authentication security. His prior work experience includes positions at Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Saba Software, Symantec and Experian. Peter speaks four languages and writes code in several other languages.
Peter holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Masters in Science from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. He and his wife Marie have a son and are members of St. Andrew Apostle Catholic Church in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Kenneth MacKenzie Trustee and Head of Trinity Forum Edinburgh (City)
Kenneth attended his first Trinity Forum in 1992, moderated by Al McDonald, Os Guinness and Dallas Willard. He was hooked. Many such events followed across Europe, and in the UK, and he also attended fora in the US. With the help of Al Mcdonald and David Laing the UK charity was formed in 2000, and in April 2017 the current legal entity was established.
Kenneth is a Chartered Accountant with 50 years of business leadership experience, last 20 years in healthcare.
Kenneth is the founder and CEO of Target Fund Managers, and several Funds including Target Healthcare REIT which invests in Senior Living.
Prior to his involvement in the healthcare sector, Kenneth has led businesses in printing and publishing, and oil and gas services and he holds a number of pro-bono charitable roles. He is a father of 5 children and at last count grand-father of 17.
The Revd Jonathan Aitken, Director
Jonathan Aitken is a former Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister, and ex-prisoner. He is now a Prison Chaplain at HMP Pentonville.
Jonathan is the author of seventeen books including award winning biographies of John Newton, the author of Amazing Grace; former US President Richard M Nixon and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He is also a well-known broadcaster and columnist for the Times and other newspapers.
He was ordained in June 2018 at St Paul’s Cathedral by the Bishop of London.
He now combines being a Chaplain at HMP Pentonville with serving as an Assistant Minister in St Matthew’s Church Westminster and also being Honorary Chaplain to Christians in Government.
George Seay, Board Member, Speaker and Founder of Scriptorium
George Seay is a nationally recognised speaker, civic leader, and financial industry CEO with senior level experience working in government and on GOP political campaigns. George is the founder and chairman of Annandale Capital, a global investment firm that manages capital for clients all across the country.
Mr. Seay has significant public policy experience through his work for the Governor of Texas and the Deputy Secretary of State at the U.S. State Department in Washington.
Mr. Seay serves on numerous boards including Chairman of the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas and the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce. He is the former Chairman of Associated Republicans of Texas.
Mr. Seay received his B.A. summa cum laude and his MBA with a Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence from the University of Texas. He graduated Cum Laude from the Southern Methodist University School of Law, where he served as President of the SMU Law Review Association.