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Scott Cooper, PhD


Scott Cooper, PhD, is the president and CEO of the Academy of Natural Sciences. An international museum professional and heritage preservation scholar, Cooper has spent over two decades protecting, promoting and transforming cultural sites and institutions in countries around the world.

Cooper studied engineering at the University of Manchester and architectural conservation at Edinburgh College of Art. He was awarded a UNESCO scholarship to study stone conservation in Venice and subsequently returned to Edinburgh to complete his doctoral research on Scottish history.

Cooper joined the Academy after four years as vice president of collections, knowledge and engagement at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, Canada. There he devised and implemented innovative learning, visitor experience, exhibitions, research and First Peoples’ collections strategies that together helped transform the institution into Canada’s most popular museum.

Previously, Cooper was director of museums at the Qatar Foundation in Doha, Qatar, where he oversaw a $65 million capital project to create four ground-breaking heritage house museums. Amongst these was the critically-acclaimed Bin Jelmood House - the first museum in the Islamic world to be dedicated to the subject of slavery.

From 2003 to 2011 Cooper was CEO of the Fulham Palace Trust, where he saved from dereliction one of England’s most important historic sites to create what is now one of London’s most beloved and accessible heritage attractions.

He has served as treasurer of the International Council of Museums and is the author of several scholarly papers on the history of Scotland’s historic buildings and designed landscapes.