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Donald Cooke


Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Donald A. Cooke began serving as senior vice president for philanthropy of the McCormick Foundation in May 2005. His responsibilities include providing oversight and management to the Foundation’s grant-making programs in civics, communities, education, journalism, special initiatives, and veterans.

Cooke began his career in Philadelphia at the Franklin Institute Science Museum. Over the course of 12 years he served as director of the Fels Planetarium, director of development, vice president for external affairs, acting museum director and executive vice president for programs and planning. He subsequently served for eight years at the Philadelphia Orchestra as vice president for external affairs. Prior to his current position, Cooke was the vice president for institutional advancement for the Field Museum in Chicago.

A Philadelphia native, Cooke was educated at Williams College and Harvard University, where he studied astrophysics. He is the author of many papers and articles and often lectures on astronomy and nonprofit management. He is author of the book “The Life and Death of Stars,” published by Crown Publishers in 1985.

He currently serves as a board member and on the executive committee of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Donor’s Forum, and is former chairman of the City of Lake Forest Historic Preservation Commission. Cooke and his wife Sally reside in Lake Forest, Illinois.

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