Donna is Co-Chair the McNees Strategic Solutions Group and Member-in-Charge of the Lancaster office.

Donna focuses her practice on municipal and project finance law, including economic development, transportation, government, health care, and education. She serves as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, trustee’s counsel, bank counsel and borrower’s counsel for state, county, and municipal clients and for economic development authorities and non-profit entities in the implementation and financing of major capital initiatives that benefit public, private and non-profit entities (including, for example, hotel, hospital and health care facility, university and water and sewer transportation and treatment facility projects) and debt refinancings for public, for-profit and non-profit organizations. In addition, Donna counsels issuers on general obligation borrowings.

Donna also has extensive knowledge of various financing structures, including hedging instrument and synthetic fixed rate and variable rate debt.

As former deputy general counsel in the Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel (OGC), Donna was OGC’s chief legal liaison with the Pennsylvania Housing and Finance Agency, the Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority. She was OGC’s liaison on all public finance transactions, working directly with the issuing agencies.


Donna regularly participates in due diligence reviews for many issuers and underwriters on bond financings as bond counsel, disclosure counsel and underwriter’s counsel.  Donna advised a number of issuers in 2014 on their responses to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) initiative.  As a result of the MCDC initiative, the Firm was retained by an underwriter which is active in local government financings in Pennsylvania, to represent it as special underwriter’s counsel to review the disclosures regarding compliance with SEC Rule 15c2-12 made by issuers in the official statements for the financings in which that underwriter is involved.  Donna leads this representation.

Donna headed the bond counsel team representing a large regional water and sewer authority, which financed its acquisition of a neighboring city-owned water and sewer system.  This acquisition was the first public-public transaction of its kind, and The Bond Buyer recognized the financing as the co-recipient of the Deal of the Year for the Northeast United States in 2013.

McNees was ranked fifth in Pennsylvania in the 2016 Bond Counsel Rankings by The Bond Buyer. The firm also was ranked fourth in Pennsylvania in the 2016 Bond Underwriter’s Counsel, and is one of just two firms to appear in the top five in both lists. In 2013, McNees was ranked the number one Pennsylvania bond counsel firm by dollar volume, according to The Bond Buyer’s annual publication of top Bond Counsel firms. Our firm was noted as having served as bond counsel on issues totaling more than $1.4442 billion.


Shippensburg University, B.A., 1982, magna cum laude

University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D., 1985


The Best Lawyers in America®, Public Finance Law, 2013-present

Women of Influence, 2017

6th Annual Leading Woman Award, Ladies First, 2017


Pennsylvania Bar Association

Lancaster Bar Association, Board of Directors

Lancaster Chamber, Board Member

American College of Bond Counsel, Fellow

National Association of Bond Lawyers

Pennsylvania Association of Bond Lawyers, Member

Bond Buyer’s Municipal Marketplace “Red Book”

Advisory Council to the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Lancaster, PA

Junior Achievement of Southcentral Pennsylvania, Past Chair of the Board of Directors

Pennsylvania Commission for Women, past chair, 2001 (appointed by Governor Tom Ridge)

Lancaster Bible College, Corporate Board Member


U.S. District Court – Middle District of Pennsylvania

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