President, Highmark Foundation
Vice President, Highmark Inc.
Co-Founder, August Wilson Center for African American Culture
Yvonne Cook is President of the Highmark Foundation and Vice President for Community Affairs. In this position, Cook is responsible for the overall management, vision and thought leadership in the foundation’s focus area of health; fiscal and program success of foundation goals; evaluation of grantmaking and makes decisions about priorities and strategies; working collaboratively with other private and/or public funders and grantees for greater social impact; and developing strategies for shaping agendas and decision-making of other external stakeholders. Prior to joining Highmark, Cook served as the Executive Assistant to the Allegheny County’s first Chief Executive. In this position, she advised the Chief Executive on health and human service matters and provided oversight to the county’s Minority/Women/Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Department. Her professional experience also includes working as a Program Officer with The Pittsburgh Foundation. Cook also has 18 years of banking experience with BNY Mellon. For over 30 years, Cook has volunteered her time and expertise by serving on many boards and committees. She is the co-founder of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, a $42 million dollar development project and served as its treasurer for over 10 years. Cook has received numerous awards in recognition of her service to others. She speaks often on topics related to leadership, philanthropy, issue-specific health topics and health equity. Cook’s corporate board experience includes joining the Board of Directors for Chester Engineers Inc., in 2009. Chester Engineers Inc., is a private company providing water and wastewater engineering solutions to public and industrial clients across the United States and internationally. Cook holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in public management from the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy & Management at Carnegie Mellon University.