First Descents Hires Director of Programs to Reach More Cancer Survivors

Mackenzie McGrath joins non-profit dedicated to adventure-based healing

Denver (May 25, 2018) - First Descents welcomes Mackenzie McGrath as the organization's new Director of Programs. McGrath will oversee First Descents’ expanding portfolio of adventure programs, healthcare partnerships, and service providers.

“We are excited to have Mackenzie's leadership and experience as we expand programs and partnerships to improve survivorship and patient quality of life for young adults impacted by cancer,” said First Descents Executive Director Ryan O’Donoghue. “Her impressive experience designing programs for companies and NGOs around the world brings a unique qualification to FD that will help us achieve our ambitious goals.”

McGrath is a climbing guide, humanitarian, and former non-profit consultant with 10 years of experience working for organizations including USAID, Women’s Regional Network, and her independent consultancy company, Enso, LLC. She has over a decade of experience designing programs in international aid and development in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. McGrath has a Master's Level Global Mental Health Certificate from Harvard University and is deeply committed to adventure-based healing and the mission of First Descents.

“This position combines my passion for outdoor adventure with innovative programming that empowers participants,” said McGrath. “Like the FD Community, cancer has had a formative impact on my life and I’m excited to help First Descents extend the healing power of adventure to thousands more young adults." 

For additional information please contact Becca Rohrer, Marketing Manager at Becca.rohrer@firstdescents.orgor Ray Shedd, Director of Development and Marketing at

About First Descents:

First Descents (FD) is the leader in adventure-based healing. Through outdoor adventure, community building, and skills development, FD improves long-term survivorship and quality of life for young adults impacted by cancer. Headquartered in Denver, First Descents will provide over 1,200 experiences across over 100 adventure programs nationwide in 2018. All services are fully-adaptive and free of charge. A GuideStar Platinum-ranked nonprofit, First Descents has been recognized on CNN Heroes and Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work.



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