McDonald, who has served in her current role with the fast food chain since 2010, will join the board as an independent non-executive director on 1 June.
Announcing her appointment, Patrick Cescau, non-executive chairman of the UK-based hotel group, said the businesswoman would also be serving on the board's audit and nomination committees.
"I am very pleased that Jill has agreed to join the IHG board. Her wealth of experience in franchising and marketing will be extremely positive for the group. I very much look forward to working with her," he added.
The appointment of McDonald, who delivered the keynote address at the inaugural Women 1st conference last year, was revealed on the same day IHG announced it had enjoyed an 'encouraging' start to 2013 despite a drop in revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the UK.
In its interim management statement for the first quarter of the year IHG revealed global RevPAR growth year-on-year of 3.1 per cent.
However the news was less positive in the UK where RevPAR fell by 2.4 per cent as a result of the large number of new hotels which were opened in the capital during 2012.
"We have had an encouraging start to our 10th anniversary year, with solid trading performance in the first quarter driven predominantly by growth in rate," said Richard Solomons, IHG's chief executive.
"Our preferred brands and global scale helped deliver good pipeline growth in the quarter, with over 100 hotels signed, led by our Americas and Greater China regions."
The company also announced the completion of the sale of the iconic InterContinental London Park Lane hotel which is expected to be managed by IHG for up to 60 years.
"The disposal of InterContinental London Park Lane, which completed on 1 May, highlights the value of our asset portfolio and the attractiveness of InterContinental as one of the world’s leading luxury hotel brands," said Solomons. "It is also another step in our long standing commitment to reduce the capital intensity of IHG.
"Our high quality pipeline, broad geographic spread and fee based model give us confidence for the year ahead, despite the on-going challenging economic conditions in several of our markets," he added.
IHG also revealed today that it was renaming its loyalty scheme which will now become the IHG Rewards Club.