The Center for American Progress is pleased to announce that Donna Cooper has joined CAP as a Senior Policy Fellow.
“We are excited to have Donna on board and are eager to put her policy research and implementation experience to work toward our efforts to develop new strategies to offer struggling families economic opportunity,” said CAP EVP Sarah Rosen Wartell.
Ms. Cooper joins CAP after serving for eight years as the Secretary of Policy and Planning for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As a top member of the Governor’s Cabinet, she was responsible for crafting the major policy initiatives of the Rendell Administration.
Among these efforts was the design of the Rendell Approach to reforming public education which resulted in the largest jump in student achievement in the nation in the last decade. Ms. Cooper also fashioned Job Ready PA, a strategy to overhaul the state’s workforce training system and significant forms in higher education. She oversaw the efforts to build public support for the largest state increases in funds for environmental protection, water improvements, infrastructure development and alternative energy investment. Before joining the Governor’s staff she was the founder of Good Schools Pennsylvania, a statewide advocacy organization formed to accelerate the pace of school funding and performance reform in Pennsylvania. Cooper began her public service career in the job training and anti-poverty policy sectors. She created numerous job training programs for homeless adults, adjudicated youth and launched the largest and most comprehensive welfare to work program in the nation known as Greater Philadelphia Works.
Ms. Cooper is a Philadelphian who holds a Masters Degree from the Fels Center of Government at the University of Pennsylvania as well as a Masters from the School for International Training in Brattleboro Vermont.