Scott Cooper, PhD, is the president and CEO of the Academy of Natural Sciences. An international museum professional, Cooper has spent more than two decades protecting, transforming and promoting cultural institutions 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 later returned to Edinburgh to complete his doctorate in architecture.
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, exhibitions, and research strategies that helped transform the institution into Canada’s most popular museum, while his work in founding a First Nations department initiated a process of decolonization that continues to inform the museum’s identity and purpose today.
Previously, Cooper was director of museums at the Qatar Foundation in Doha, Qatar, where he oversaw the creation of four groundbreaking cultural attractions. Among 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 during which time he led the restoration of one of England’s most important historic sites, unlocking its vast potential to create a beloved and accessible refuge in the heart of London.
Cooper has served as treasurer of the International Council of Museums (UK) and is the author of several scholarly papers on Scottish heritage. He currently serves as chair of Philadelphia’s Parkway Council Foundation, and as a board member of the International Council of Museums (US), the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, and The Wistar Institute.
Claremont Graduate University - Getty Leadership Institute (Fellow 2015 / Faculty 2016 & 2017); Doctor of Philosophy, Architecture - Edinburgh College of Art, 1993-2000 (Principal’s Scholarship); Diploma, Conservation - Centro Europeo per i Mestieri della Conservazione del Patrimonio Architettonico, Venice, Italy, 1993 (UNESCO Scholarship);Postgraduate Diploma, Architectural Conservation – Edinburgh College of Art, 1992-1993; BSc Honours, Construction Management – University of Manchester, 1987-1991