Center for Women in Law

Convening leaders, generating ideas, leading change.

Donna Snyder

Donna Snyder is gratefully retired after a career as an attorney, state government executive and corporate officer.   Donna began her career as a general trial lawyer with SBC Communications, eventually rising to manage the legal departments at SBC’s wireless subsidiary and three of its five telephone company subsidiaries.  In 1997, Donna was elected an officer of SBC (now ATT), at which time she transferred out of the legal organization and became the Regional President of telephone operations in Oklahoma (with responsibility for network operations, sales, customer services, marketing, repair and network engineering and construction for all voice, data and video communications) and later the Regional President-Customer Services in Oklahoma and Arkansas.  At the time of Donna’s retirement from SBC in 2000, she was the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Southwestern Bell Telephone, Pacific Bell Telephone and Nevada Bell.

Donna served as the first woman commissioner of the Texas Workers Compensation Commission (TWCC), having been appointed by the governor and approved by the Texas Senate.  She was later elected by members of TWCC to be its member on the Workers Compensation Research Counsel. 

Donna was active in the earliest efforts of the State Bar to address issues of women lawyers when she served on the President’s Committee on Effective Participation of Women in the Bar in 1979 and was a leader of the first Women and the Law Section of the State Bar, the San Antonio Women’s Bar Association and the Dallas Women Lawyers Association.  Donna was instrumental in the formation of a mentoring organization for women executives at SBC. 

Donna previously served on various community boards, including the Executive Women’s Roundtable of the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Executive Committee and Board of the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, and the boards of the YWCA Women’s Resource Center, Legal Services of North Texas, Big Brothers Big Sisters,  St. Alcuin Montessori School and the Southwest Advisory Council of the American Arbitration Association.  Donna also participated in Opportunity Dallas and Leadership Texas.  She is a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.

Since retirement, Donna has been a court appointed special advocate (CASA) for foster children.  She is currently on the Board of Zach Theatre, having previously served on its executive committee and as Chair and Co-Chair of its $22M Topfer Theatre Campaign. Her current focus is teaching women in prison transformational tools for personal growth.

A native of Austin, Texas, she earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, her J.D. from the University of Texas and a Certificate in Modern British Law at the London School of Economics.  She and husband Richard Donahue, M.D. have two sons, Darren (a recent UT law graduate) and Ryan (a medical student at Texas Tech University).