Ian McDonald is a first-year graduate student in the School of Social Work. From January 2017 to July 2021, Ian worked as a policy analyst with the North Carolina office of the National Health Law Program, where he worked on issues related to Medicaid policy, and worked with litigation teams to protect and expand health care access for low-income people. His focus on entering the School of Social Work is to explore and develop therapeutic approaches which emphasize creative, athletic, and similar pursuits as a means of learning and reinforcing skills relevant to emotion regulation, addiction recovery, and distress tolerance, drawing on elements of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help people live lives of autonomy and self-actualization.
Prior to entering the School of Social Work, he has worked in law and policy, with a focus on legal services for people with low income. He graduated from Duke Law School in 2016, and previously completed his undergraduate career at the University of California, San Diego. He has lived in North Carolina since 2013. In his free time, Ian practices Brazilian Jiu jitsu, plays basketball, and enjoys live music.