Taite R. McDonald is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office and a member of the firm's Public Policy & Regulation Group. Ms. McDonald focuses her practice at the intersection of innovation and government. She is especially well versed in running complex, cross-government matters with intricate legal, policy and financing components. Ms. McDonald's is highly knowledgeable in several areas, including energy technology commercialization, federal energy procurement, biofuels, cannabis, hemp, innovative U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) contracting, and government grants and loan guarantees.

Ms. McDonald provides counsel to companies of all sizes, from early stage startups to Fortune 100 companies and large utilities. She has successfully represented clients in obtaining government contracts, non-dilutive funding in excess of $1.25 billion, loan guarantees and conditional commitments in excess of $2 billion, and achieving complex policy and legislative objectives. Ms. McDonald regularly plays a pivotal role in assisting clients to overcome gating obstacles and achieve new and innovative legislative objectives for emerging markets and technologies by forging key partnerships with federal agencies, industry, trade groups and other government-facing bodies.

Additionally, Ms. McDonald was selected as a 2019 Holland & Knight Rising Star and is a frequent writer and speaker on topics related to renewable energy, military privatization, cannabis and government finance. She has spoken at dozens of conferences and events, including the Defense Energy Innovation Summit, Association of Defense Communities Advanced Energy Summit, Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference and Power-Gen International Finance Forum. In 2019, Ms. McDonald was named as a Key Player on K Street in Politico’s Essential Guide to Cannabis.

Representative Experience

  • Helped clients to secure more than a dozen awards equaling more than $1 billion in DOE grant funding across numerous programs over the past 12 months
  • Currently leading more than two dozen projects through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programs Office for Advanced Fossil Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program
  • Advising multiple innovative companies in obtaining nearly $150 million in research grants from the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Advanced Research Projects Agency, including the second-highest clean tech grant award from the DOE in 2021
  • Advised numerous companies in negotiations of DOE grant awards and acquisition of entities that have received DOE grant funding
  • Represented numerous companies and product providers in DOE regulatory compliance and enforcement

  • Leading project teams successfully through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Section 9003 Advanced Biorefinery Assistance Program
  • Advising multiple innovative companies in obtaining more than $3 million in research grants from various programs, including National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

  • Assisting the U.S. Department of Navy in executing an enhanced use lease (EUL) for the largest energy storage resiliency project to date
  • Assisting the leading flow battery energy storage technology provider in obtaining numerous procurement awards from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Assisting a leading renewable energy developer in deploying the first long-term solar energy procurement project on a DOD installation
  • Assisting a renewable energy developer in obtaining $3 million from the Department of Navy and California Energy Commission to demonstrate a first-of-its-kind solar microgrid with energy storage
  • Assisting an advanced drop-in biofuels company to secure $70 million under the Defense Production Act's Title III Advanced Drop-In Biofuels Program
  • Advising multiple leading renewable energy project developers and financiers in qualifying for the U.S. Army's $7 billion Multiple Award Task Order Contract
  • Assisting numerous real estate and mixed-use developers in obtaining and negotiating innovative contracting structures with the Army and U.S. Air Force

  • Led an ad hoc group of companies, nongovernmental groups and program advocates in successfully saving the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Program from proposed cuts from 2016-2018
  • Led a team in responding to congressional investigations and inquiries surrounding the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI)
  • Assisted multiple energy and clean technology companies in achieving legislative objectives associated with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant and financing programs


  • The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, J.D.
  • Gettysburg College, B.A., Political Science and Psychology, cum laude
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • The Tenfold Forty, Board Co-Founder and Advisor, 2008-2017
  • Taste of the South, General Counsel, 2017-Present
  • Holland & Knight Rising Star, Class of 2019
Honors & Awards
  • The Legal 500 USA, Energy: Renewable/Alternative Power, 2024


Speaking Engagements