Company: The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF), Merisant Company
Industry: Research, Manufacturer
Position: President and Chief Executive Officer (JDRF)
Founder, Chairman 2000 - 2005 (Merisant)
Country: United States
On December 21, 2005 The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF), the largest charitable funder of diabetes research in the world, named Mr. Donald as President and Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Donald was Chairman (2000 -2005) and Chief Executive Officer (2000 - 2003) of Merisant Company, whose products include leading global tabletop sweetener brands Equal andCanderel. Merisant, formed in March 2000, is committed to the growing global need for health, nutritional, and lifestyle products based on science and technology. The company's 600 employees make and market high-value products in more than 130 countries worldwide.
When he was running Monsanto's $4 billion agriculture business, Donald persuaded the company to sell him its Equal division. Merisant, the $400 million company he founded in St. Louis, is now the undisputed leader in the artificial sweetener market. Donald also runs a $350 million VC fund that backs new life-science and biotech companies.
Mr. Donald received a BA degree from Carleton College, a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. In 1997, Mr. Donald was named Executive of the Year by Black Enterprise Magazine; in 1998, he received the Washington University Distinguished Alumni Award; in 1999, he received the Eagle Award from the National Eagle Leadership Institute; and in 2000 he received the Black Engineers President's Award. In July 2002, Fortune Magazine named Mr. Donald #17 on their list of "The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America".
Prior to assuming leadership of Merisant, Mr. Donald was a senior executive at Monsanto Company in St. Louis, MO. He joined Monsanto in industrial chemical sales in 1977 and worked in ever more challenging and responsible roles in his 20 plus years with that company. In January 1998, he was appointed Senior Vice-President of the corporation with worldwide responsibility in areas that include the company's growth, globalization, and technology initiatives. Prior to that, Mr. Donald was President of the $4 billion plus agricultural sector, overseeing three years of tremendous growth and marked by the successful introduction and commercialization of Monsanto's first crop protection products resulting from modern plant biotechnology. He was recognized by the agricultural industry as Agri-Marketer of the Year in 1996.