McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character

2020 Conference Theme: Performance with Purpose

On behalf of West Point’s Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership and our MCLC benefactors Secretary Bob and Diane McDonald, I regret to inform you that we have made the decision to cancel the McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character (MCLC) 2020. Though the risks may be low, your health and safety, and the health and safety of our cadets, staff, faculty, and families, remain our primary concern. We want to ensure we are doing all we can to care for people in a way that is in alignment with West Point’s and MCLC’s vision and purpose.

March 18 - 22, 2020

West Point, NY


Behavioral Sciences and Leadership crest

The mission of the McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character (MCLC) is to bring together a diverse group of the top undergraduate student leaders from across the globe with world class senior leaders who act as mentors in a team-based, experiential event that bolsters leadership skills, fosters critical thinking and collaboration, and develops potential strategies for addressing pressing global issues.


MCLC  History

The McDonald Conference for Leaders of Character began in 2012 with the vision of being the premier transformative, short-duration leadership experience for young, emerging global leaders who unite together with preeminent world leaders in an enduring partnership.  The annual conference is made possible by the vision and resources of founding benefactors Secretary & Mrs. Robert McDonald and is supported by a kind gift from the Garrison and Sharman families. The conference has been hosted each year by the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. Since its inception, the event has touched the lives of over 600 students and senior leaders through its exploration of relevant and timely themes. 

Conference Information

COL Everett Spain speaking to a room full of cadets and guests.

Past Conference Themes:

  • 2019 - Leading with Character in a Technology Driven World
  • 2018  - Making Ripples: Character, Ideas, and Teams
  • 2017  - Opposition & Innovation: Taking Risks to Lead Change
  • 2016  - From Failure to Inspiration and Change
  • 2015  - Cross-Cultural Competence
  • 2013  - Responsibility
  • 2012  - Leading in an Interconnected World


Bob McDonald

MCLC Founding Benefactor 8th Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs Retired Chairman, President, and CEO, Proctor & Gamble

Robert A. “Bob” McDonald was nominated by President Obama to serve as the eighth Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), and he was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate on July 29, 2014. Secretary McDonald led VA in its ambitious transformational journey to be a world-class service provider and the number 1 customer-service agency in the Federal government to give Veterans consistent, high-quality experiences.

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Diane McDonald

MCLC Founding Benefactor

Diane (pronounced Dee-Ann) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Upon graduation from Chatham College, she taught elementary school and coached high school sports where her passion was working with children.

Soon after Bob joined P&G, they had the opportunity to live abroad—in Canada, the Philippines, Japan, and Brussels. At each location Diane played a leadership role in the P&G community, in her children’s schools and in their activities. She was a Girl and Boy Scout leader, home room mother, PTA officer, Sunday school teacher, American Women’s Club member and P&G spouse support group leader, among other roles.

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Senior Fellows

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