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Jenn Donahue

Jenn Donahue, Ph.D. is a retired US Navy Captain and Regimental Commodore. As an engineer, she works on large-scale, high-profile projects. Over her 27-year military career, Jenn has built a bridge across the Euphrates River in the midst of the Iraq war, commanded an 800-personnel Battalion in Afghanistan, and constructed combat outposts in the middle of deserts filled with insurgents. Jenn has led earthquake and tsunami reconnaissance missions in places like Samoa and Japan; designed the seismic plans for a bridge over the Panama Canal; and built roads in the coldest climes of Ketchikan. Along the way, she mentored scores of young leaders. Today Jenn runs JL Donahue Engineering. She also lectures at UC Berkeley and UCLA.


As a speaker, Jenn focuses on leadership, overcoming imposter syndrome, and inspiring audiences to achieve greatness. Jenn covers a variety of leadership topics informed by her experiences commanding battalions- these include trust-based leadership, self-awareness, and team-building. She takes pride in her ability to adjust her message to fit the needs and goals of any audience. 

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Jenn Donahue Reviews

Sarah Sullivan Vice President of Career Development, Santa Clara Valley Society of Women Engineers

Review: “Practical & actionable. Jenn's experience provides a unique perspective on managing hyper-growth teams.”

Doug Whimpey Business Manager, Dean/Fluor

Review: Personable and engaging. Jenn provides tangible examples and insights that have directly resulted in more effective teams within our organization. A MUST-HAVE speaker for developing your company’s leaders!

Kathryn Wooddell Senior Seismologist, PG&E

Review: Jenn doesn't just motivate you to get out there and do great things. She leaves you with a toolkit to help you achieve your goals and a plan to keep you accountable for your success.