Donald A. Cooke

Executive Team - Senior Advisor

Donald A. Cooke, Senior Advisor, began serving as Vice President, and later Senior Vice President, of Philanthropy for the McCormick Foundation in May 2005. He provided oversight and management to the foundation’s grantmaking programs and worked extensively on the issue of gun violence in Chicago. He is currently leading the Foundation’s fundraising efforts and building partnerships across Chicagoland to benefit the people of Chicago.

Cooke began his career in 1981 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 on the boards of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Illinois Joining Forces, Truth in Accounting, and as Chairman of the Board of USO Midwest Region. He previously served as chairman of the City of Lake Forest Historic Preservation Commission. He is the past chairman of Forefront, an Illinois-based association for nonprofits. Cooke and his wife Sally reside in Lake Forest, Illinois.