Peter Donald, 27, is the youngest of this year’s 40 Under 40, yet his achievements to date cemented his inclusion.
As a public affairs specialist at the FBI, he has been at the forefront of managing major news stories from the bureau’s investigation into the Benghazi attacks in Libya to the renewed search in 2012 for Etan Patz, who disappeared in Manhattan in 1979, when he was a 6-year-old boy.
Donald’s accomplishments include work to publicize the FBI’s crackdown on insider trading on Wall Street. He also produced the PSA, which featured Michael Douglas reprising his iconic Gordon Gekko role from the classic film Wall Street. The announcement and accompanying briefing resulted in front-page coverage in The Wall Street Journal and stories on all major TV networks.
Donald also coordinated the response and daily press briefings during the 2012 search for Patz. The story led all the major networks and publications for days as the FBI search went on for a week in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.
Donald has launched and managed social media channels for the FBI in New York to enable the bureau to communicate more quickly and accurately in a crisis.
He has also written speeches for major press conferences, managed interviews for several high-profile books on the FBI, and planned interviews and coverage for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. This included dozens of interviews and an emergency press conference with then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg following terror threats.
And in 2014, for the first-ever Super Bowl to be played in New York’s Tri-State Area, Donald planned interviews with all major television networks around the FBI’s role in protecting the city and the big game.
"Peter has been the driving force behind the FBI’s press office in the past four years," says supervisory special agent Christos Sinos. "He has been involved in every major takedown, announcement, and search, and has been integral in shaping the FBI’s reputation at every turn. He continues to ask tough questions and is always looking at what others are doing to better inform his work at the FBI."
• Donald is currently studying for a master’s in PR and corporate communications at New York University
• He recently wrote an op-ed for The Huffington Post on planning for a crisis and lessons we can learn from the Boston Marathon bombing
• Donald leads funding for his high school as chair of the Alumni Council Annual Fund Committee for Northfield Mount Hermon, which raises $3.4 million a year
• An avid cyclist, he rides in the 192-mile Pan-Mass Challenge every year to help raise money for cancer research