For almost 20 years, John McDonnell has been involved in establishing a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in St. Louis and in helping develop future leaders with a global perspective.
He is founding chairman of the board of BioSTL, a non-profit established in 2011 to encourage capital formation, stimulate entrepreneurial activity, support regional efforts, and promote St. Louis life science developments with local, state, and federal government agencies. Prior to that, he was founding chairman of BioGenerator (now part of BioSTL), which provides direct funding and support to researchers, entrepreneurs, and young companies in the life sciences in this region.
He is the founding donor for the McDonnell International Scholars Academy and continues to be involved in the activities of the Academy and as a member of its Advisory Council. He is also co-chairman of the St. Louis Steering Committee of the Eisenhower Fellowships, which is a non-profit organization sponsoring Fellowships for mid-career leaders from around the world to produce “a global network of dynamic change agents committed to creating a world more peaceful, prosperous, and just.”
The McDonnell Academy has established itself as a unique model for international cooperation and collaboration among leading research institutions of higher learning and scholarship.John F. McDonnell
McDonnell retired as Chairman of the Board of McDonnell Douglas Corporation in 1997 after a more than 35-year career at the company. He was elected Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1988, a position he held until September 1994. From then until his retirement in 1997 at the time of the merger with Boeing, he was Chairman of the Board. He then served as a member of the Boeing Board of Directors until April 2012.
McDonnell has also served on numerous other civic boards and as chairman of the boards of Washington University in St. Louis, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the Saint Louis Science Center, and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.
McDonnell earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aeronautical engineering from Princeton University and a master’s in business administration from Washington University in St. Louis.