Kathleen MacDonald, Eating and Body Image Disorders Survivor, is the Education & Prevention Coordinator for the Gail R. Schoenbach F.R.E.E.D. Foundation (For Recovery & Elimination of Eating Disorders), and the Policy Assistant for the Eating Disorders Coalition. Her expertise is: leading prevention and education programs at Universities; training medical professionals on the identification, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders; insurance and patient advocacy; & eating disorders citizen advocacy and policy.
Aside from the F.R.E.E.D. College Speaking Tour thru which Kathleen has spoken out to tens of thousands of students and college staff, some of her other presentations include: the documentary, “The American Family -Eating Disorders”; Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill regarding the reality of eating disorders and the need for federal policy recognizing eating disorders as a public health crisis; featured presenter at the First National Policy Conference on Eating Disorders in Washington, D.C., addressing “Prevention through Advocacy”; featured presenter on “Media and Body Image”, and as an “Eating Disorder Survivor”, at the National Conference on Eating Disorders Legislation in Washington, D.C.; Press Conference to reintroduced The IMPACT Act; Congressional Briefing as an Education/Prevention expert; Congressional Briefing as Patient Advocacy expert; featured speaker at NEDA STAR Program launch in Michigan; guest speaker at numerous NEDA Walks; featured presenter at the NEDA , The Renfrew Center, SCAN, BEDA and F.E.A.S.T. Conferences. Kathleen was one the lead experts who drafted the “Education and Prevention” section of The FREED Act (The Federal Response to Eliminating Eating Disorders), the first comprehensive bill to address Eating Disorders.
Kathleen’s story of overcoming her eating and body image disorders has been featured in several media outlets including the documentary “Made Over in America” –which debates the mal-effects of so-called “reality” television shows like “The Swan”. Further media includes: featured expert discussing Cross-Cultural Body Image Issues on “Urban Connections”, on NBC’s “Peter’s Principals”, and as a regular guest on “The Sports Triad”, Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem’s radio program to discuss Media and Body Image, BlogTalk Radio shows, the Hill newspaper, and articles in the New York Times.
Kathleen has been humbled to receive various awards for her advocacy including: “The Community Partner Award” from Michigan’s Community Mental Health Services, and the Eating Disorders Coalition’s “Award for Action”.
Kathleen is a Board Member of the F.R.E.E.D. Foundation and Eating Disorder Activist Network; past Board Member of the Kirsten Haglund Foundation; she is a member of the: Friends and Family Action Council (EDC), Eating Disorders Professional League of Michigan, and supports many other eating disorders organizations.
Kathleen was born and raised in the great state of Michigan and moved to the DC area in 2007 to begin working on eating disorder policy on Capitol Hill. Outside of work Kathleen finds joy and peace in hiking, running, fly-fishing, knitting, reading and spending time with family and friends. She is owned by a rescue English Setter and a google of rescue cats.