Experienced international political and trade negotiator
Former Global VP of HR at Unilever, Business Transformation advisor and a passionate advocate for making Mental Health & Wellbeing a strategic priority.
Geoff McDonald is best known as a global advocate, campaigner and consultant who is passionate about addressing the stigma of mental ill health in workplaces, and about helping organisations embed purpose as a key driver of business performance. Prior to this he was the Global VP of Human Resources for Unilever.
His experience spans leadership & talent development, organisation change, capability development (with particular reference to marketing), and business transformation with purpose at its core.
During his 25 year career with Unilever (a global corporation with a turnover of £50 billion, 170,000 employees in 90 countries around the world), his experience has been truly global, working across Africa, the Middle-East & Turkey, Australasia & Asia, Europe & the Americas. Early in his Unilever career he was responsible for graduate recruitment and development, talent, acquisitions and development across emerging markets. Under his leadership he developed Unilever’s global talent and leadership centre of expertise.
In 2008 Geoff was diagnosed with anxiety fuelled depression, and it was during his recovery that he discovered a new personal purpose. In 2014 he left his role with Unilever to devote his time, energy and expertise to ending the stigma of depression and anxiety in the workplace. He tells his powerful story to audiences around the globe, knowing first-hand that talking about mental health saves lives.
Geoff has had the opportunity to sit around the table with politicians, business leaders and influencers including the Prime Minister of the UK, members of the Royal Family and Pope Francis. He has spoken at corporate events across Australia, Europe, Japan, North America, Turkey and Eastern Europe. He has also participated in a number of BBC programmes and written articles for the Huffington Post and the Financial Times as well as Human Resource journals.
As a strong believer that the global movement for positive mental health in the workplace needs more voices, Geoff is the co-founder of Minds@Work, whose purpose is to inspire and empower individuals to break the stigma of mental ill health in their own organisations.