McDonald, who served 20 years as a state Representative, was appointed to the Commission in June 1998 by Governor Zell Miller to fill a vacated post and then re-elected in a special mid-term election in November 1998. He held the seat until 2002. In 2008 and in 2014, Georgians again elected McDonald to serve on the Commission.
McDonald has a deep knowledge of the energy industry. He puts that knowledge to work as a member of the Electric Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and as an executive member of the Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition. During his time on the Commission he has been a strong proponent of adding solar energy to the state’s utility infrastructure in a conservative and thoughtful manner without putting upward pressure on rates. In 2013 he was able to garner support to add 525 megawatts of solar energy to the portfolio of the state’s investor owned utility. Since then, McDonald has supported the conservative addition of more solar power to Georgia’s energy mix, resulting in the state becoming one of the top five fastest growing states in the nation for solar energy. He has also supported the construction of solar facilities at six of Georgia’s military bases, contributing to national security and helping to protect the bases from future base closure proposals.
McDonald is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a BBA in Business. He also served six years in the Georgia Air National Guard. He owns businesses in the private sector and is married to Shelley McDonald. He was married to the late Sunny Nivens McDonald for 45 years. He has a son, Lauren and three grandchildren.