Maril Gagen MacDonald | Gagen MacDonald

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Maril Gagen MacDonald


Maril Gagen MacDonald is a nationally recognized leader in communication, strategy execution and transformation. She pioneered a discipline that collaborates with corporate leaders to optimize business performance by engaging and mobilizing their workforce behind a company’s strategic goals, its culture and its brand. Her clients have included some of the world’s most recognized brands, including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Coca-Cola, DuPont, GE, Johnson & Johnson and United Airlines.

CEO of Gagen MacDonald, Maril is also a member of the board and Global Leadership Team at APCO. She created Let Go & Lead, an online community dedicated to new philosophies and strategies for leadership. Until its successful sale in 2016, she was the CEO of Son&Sons, a leading brand and identity firm.

She previously served as chief communication officer and Executive Management Committee member for Navistar and its operating company, International Truck and Engine Corporation. She worked closely with CEO John Horne to direct the company’s highly successful cultural turnaround. This was a key factor in Navistar’s resurgence from the brink of bankruptcy to being named in the Wall Street Journal’s Top 10 Performers list and Business Week’s Top 50 Companies list.

Prior to joining Navistar, Maril was vice president of communications for Pitman-Moore Inc., and held several leadership positions spanning operations, communications, and human resources with Bayer USA and The Standard Oil Company/British Petroleum. Her broad range of corporate experience has allowed her to claim “the white space between the silos” as her area of ultimate functional expertise.

Maril is past chairman and long-serving board member of the Arthur W. Page Society and served as an Advisory Board Member for the Museum of Public Relations and the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Relations. She is a former board member of American University, the Institute for Public Relations, and the Women Presidents’ Organization, a non-profit international membership organization for successful female entrepreneurs.

Maril is a recipient of Arthur W. Page Society’s Hall of Fame and Distinguished Service Awards, and the Betsy Plank Award from The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. She has been recognized by PR Week as one of the top 25 leaders in the industry, and has been named by them as one of “The 50 Most Powerful Women in PR.” She was also recognized as a “PR All-Star” by Inside PR and received the Distinguished Leader Award from PRSA Chicago.

She holds a B.A. in Communication from Purdue University.

Meet the rest of the team members
Purdue University
B.A. Communication