Community Engagement Partners

Charles McDonald


Charles McDonald is the Executive Director for Community Engagement Partners (an initiative of Education Cities), a national nonprofit that builds the capacity of education organizations to partner with their local communities to create and sustain great schools.

Prior to his role at Community Engagement Partners, Charles was the Senior Fellow, Advocacy and Engagement for Education Cities where he used his expertise as an educational justice organizer, strategist, and advocate to support Education Cities’ member organizations with their approaches to community engagement and advocacy, with a special emphasis on lifting up the voices and influence of the parents and families most impacted by educational inequity.

He served as Senior Managing Director, External Affairs for Teach For America – South Carolina where he led their district and school partnerships, grassroots teacher recruitment campaign, public and private fundraising, and communications efforts for four years. He also served as Program Manager for Education Pioneers’ Greater Boston Analyst and Graduate School Fellowship programs for two years.

Early in his career, Charles was a youth organizer for the Alliance for Educational Justice and Californians for Justice where he specialized in base building, grassroots mobilization efforts, and leadership development programming.

He is a member of the 2016 Pahara NextGen Network cohort and is currently a member of the Pahara NextGen Alumni Advisory. Charles has a BA in Political Science from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He lives in Columbus, OH with his wife and two children.