Rev. James E. McDonald, C.S.C.

Associate Vice President and Counselor to the President


Rev. James E. McDonald, C.S.C., serves as associate vice president and counselor to Notre Dame's president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. In addition to service as liaison between Notre Dame's president, the Board of Trustees and the numerous University departments that report to the president, Father McDonald's responsibilities include all matters related to the Catholic character of the University, overseeing the operations of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute, and fostering continuing development of the University's relationship with Latin America.

Before assuming his present position, Father McDonald had served as rector (or headmaster) of Saint George's College in Santiago, Chile since 2000. Saint George's, a co-educational school for 2,600 children between kindergarten and the senior year of high school has been sponsored by the Indiana Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross since 1943.

A native of the Hudson Valley region of New York, Father McDonald was graduated from Notre Dame in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in the Program of Liberal Studies and in Spanish, and he began his preparation for the priesthood that same year. He studied at the Institut Catholique in Paris, was ordained in Notre Dame's Basilica of the Sacred Heart in April 1984, and a month later completed his master of divinity degree.

After a year of teaching and residence hall ministry on campus, he entered Cambridge University in the United Kingdom (Magdalene College), earning a master's degree in Spanish and French literature in 1987. From 1987 to 1990, Father McDonald served at Saint George's College with the first Holy Cross administration to recover the administration of the school from the Chilean military junta which seized power in 1973. He then returned to the United States and entered the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America, earning his juris doctor degree in 1994.

From 1994 to 1997 Father McDonald served as treasurer and assistant provincial for the Indiana Province of Holy Cross. He joined the Notre Dame faculty as associate dean for administration of the Notre Dame Law School in 1997. In his position at the Law School he managed the operating budget, supervised the admissions office and assisted the University's efforts to develop relationships throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

He serves as a trustee on the Board of Trustees of Stonehill College and as a regent on the Board of Regents of the University of Portland.