Karen McDonald

Director, ONEx Community Leadership

EX Communities

Karen McDonald is a strategic thinker, empathetic problem-solver, and motivational leader with 30 years of IT experience at companies like IBM, Lenovo, and Cisco. Currently, she shines as the Community Lead for +3,000 people managers across the Operations & Customer Experience organizations (ONEx). Throughout her 15-year tenure at Cisco, Karen has demonstrated a breadth of expertise, from delivery and operations management to business development. Yet, her greatest strength is her unwavering commitment to inclusion, diversity, and belonging. As the Global Wellbeing Leader for the Connected Black Professionals Inclusive Community and a founding member of the Adult Caregiver Network, Karen is dedicated to empowering employees to achieve their full potential both in their careers and personal lives. When she's not at Cisco, Karen indulges her passion for holistic health as a practitioner and business owner, offering a holistic approach to total well-being - mind, body, and spirit. When she needs to recharge, she takes meditative walks on the beach, finding peace and clarity in the serene surroundings.


February 14, 2023


How an Unexpected Conversation Launched My Cisco Career Journey

3 min read

Community Lead Director, Karen M., thought she had everything in a job until one unexpected conversation introduced her to Cisco culture, community, and career growth.