Mary E. Donahue is Senior Vice President, Development and Programming, History. She is responsible for managing all production of History’s non-fiction series, specials, and megadocs, including the new hit competition formats Knife or Death and Truck Night in America; History’s record breaking Evel Live special; and megadoc series, including Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen and the recently announced project, Grant.
Donahue also oversees the network’s returning series including The Curse of Oak Island, Forged in Fire, and American Pickers, as well as Pawn Stars and Swamp People, two definitive hits which Donahue developed and launched during a previous stint at History as VP of Development and Programming .
Donahue also served as SVP, Non-Fiction Programming at Lifetime, where she helped to develop new projects like True Tori, Bring It and Rap Game and oversaw returning series including Dance Moms.
Prior to joining A&E Networks, Donahue worked from 2004 to 2008 at Discovery Channel, serving as Executive Producer, Senior Executive Producer and Vice President. While there, she developed and launched a broad slate of shows, including Man vs. Wild, Storm Chasers, Cash Cab, Alaska Experiment and Future Weapons, as well as the Emmy nominated Expedition series with the BBC Natural History Unit. Donahue also oversaw Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs, growing ratings on both high-profile series. Donahue also worked at The Oprah Winfrey Show, where she was a producer/field director for six years and for ABC News, NBC News, USA Today and CNN. In addition, Donahue also worked as a show runner on TLC’s A Wedding Story, guiding that long-running series to its first live event and first Emmy nomination and win.
She is a cum laude graduate of Williams College and holds MA degrees in American Studies with a specialty in film studies from both Boston University and The University of Sussex in Brighton, England, where she was a Rotary scholar. Donahue has been nominated for ten Emmys and won four times. Programs she developed have earned 20 Emmy nominations in various categories.