ODKM Grad Becomes a Leading Consultant

For Michael Donoghue, tackling critical analytical research on issues facing the nation is just another day at the office.

“I love my chosen field because of the complexity of the work I do,” he said. “I get to learn on a daily basis, and my career is constantly changing.”

As a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Donoghue is tasked with everything from supporting Project Management Operations to strategic planning for agency-wide functions. It’s a position he came to assume after a decade’s worth of rising through the PwC ranks following an 11-year stint in the military. Donoghue cites his time at Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government with being a vital factor in his rise to the top.

“I’m charged with continuing to grow and enhance the PwC experience for our staff and clients,” he said. “It’s a huge challenge, but I’m excited to take it in on and to leverage the skills and abilities I learned through my time at GMU to help my teams and my clients be successful.”

Donoghue is a 2006 graduate of the Schar School's Organization Development and Knowledge Management (ODKM) program, a cohort master’s track designed to churn out leaders in change management for a broad scope of organizations. He says the program’s focus on communities of practice helped him become the change agent he is today – that and the relationships he built while in school.

“Throughout the program I established personal connections that will last a lifetime,” he said. “The cohort learning method provided a rich environment where I could build a network of practitioners who I still rely on today for advice and mentorship.”

Donoghue started at PwC in 2005 as a Senior Associate providing consulting services to the federal government. He worked his way up to Manager and then Director before landing in the enviable Partner’s seat this past July. As a full-time employee of a world-class global firm, he recognizes the advantages of his ODKM education, which instilled a worldview relevant to 21st-century multinationals.

“I have encountered many schools that speak of their global educational models but few that have the diverse staff that can bring a personal perspective to the learning experience,” he said. “GMU had a great reputation in the business community for engaging graduates who have a global approach to business.”

Donoghue recalls his days at SPGIA as a testing ground for different ideas and theories. His professors challenged the cohort to perpetually think outside the box; and his fellow students, prompted by their own diverse backgrounds, offered up fresh approaches to complex issues. This significantly shaped the Partner he is today.

“I knew this was the team that could help me advance my career,” he said. “All of these experiences prepared me to be a better executive and to seek different opinions – leveraging the knowledge and experience of those individuals to provide clients innovative solutions that exceed expectations.”