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About Douglas McDaniel

Douglas Stuart McDaniel's career stands as a vivid illustration of cross-disciplinary expertise and creative innovation. As Senior Manager of Communications, Research, and Innovation in Urban Planning at NEOM, McDaniel leads advanced urban research and communications projects, collaborating with a spectrum of thought leaders which includes architects, urban experts, archaeologists, economists, behavioral scientists, and science fiction futurists. His unique storytelling perspective is evident in his work on “Zero Gravity Urbanism: Principles for a New Livability,” a NEOM exhibition that was featured at the historic Abbazia di San Gregorio, during the 2023 Venice Architectural Biennale.

McDaniel was one of the producers of the exhibition, which presented emerging design principles for THE LINE, NEOM’s flagship city. In this capacity, he interviewed renowned architects including Jean Nouvel, Thom Mayne, Ben van Berkel, Wolf Prix, and Sir Peter Cook, among many others. He also interviewed science fiction futurists Alex McDowell and Olivier Pron and city science expert Dr. Kent Larson, about designing the city as a laboratory of the future.

During a 17-year tenure at Bechtel, he led projects in communications, marketing, and business development within the global nuclear, security, space, environmental, and civil infrastructure industries. Notably, he was a lead author and editor on numerous multi-billion-dollar proposals, including Bechtel's landmark proposal for the NEOM Spine, and in recognition of that effort, was one of the recipients of the prestigious 2020 Bechtel Global Marketing and Business Development Award.

McDaniel has also built a successful creative life and world of independent literary and cinematic projects that illustrate distinct achievements in diverse narrative forms. An author of five books and producer and director of theatrical plays, music videos, and award-winning feature films, his works include the feature-length documentaries "The Lovelies of John Alan Maxwell" and "Legends of Appalachia: The Ace Miller Story," as well as the feature film "Flirting with Azrael: A Psychedelic Rock Musical.”

McDaniel’s early career as a journalist, speechwriter, and public information specialist, demonstrated his ability to articulate complex concepts across various platforms.

His extensive career as a multifaceted professional demonstrates an ability to blend creative storytelling with practical expertise in a wide array of fields, from architecture and urban planning to scientific and technical communication, literature, filmmaking, theater, and music video production.

He attended Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee.


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