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Robert Cook

Lecturer, M.S. in Sustainability Management; Grant Development Officer, Environment and Science at the Zegar Family Foundation; Senior Science Advisor, Mayday Fund; Editor-In-Chief, Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery

Dr. Bob Cook is a veterinarian who has spent his career in wildlife health, conservation, medical research, academia and foundation philanthropy. In addition to his teaching responsibilities at Columbia University, he is also the Grant Development Officer for Environment and Science at the Zegar Family Foundation, the Senior Science Advisor at the Mayday Fund, and Editor-In-Chief for the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery. In the recent past he served as the  Program Director for Conservation and Basic Medical Research at the Helmsley Charitable Trust. For a number of years before that, he served as  the Chief Veterinarian and then as the General Director the Wildlife Conservation Society. In this role he led a team responsible for the operations of five New York zoological parks including the Central Park, Queens and Prospect Parks Zoos, the New York Aquarium, and the Bronx Zoo.  He has worked extensively in rural international settings and on global policy issues focused on the health of people, domestic animals, and wildlife. His environmental grantmaking experience includes environmental justice, climate change mitigation and adaptation, community-based conservation, protected area establishment, biodiversity, marine conservation, and food security. Dr. Cook has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at SIPA from 2004 to 2007 and then from 2013 to present. He has also served as a Lecturer in the School of Professional Studies in 2012 and then again beginning in 2017 to present in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program.


  • B.S., Microbiology and Public Health, Michigan State University 
  • VMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine,
  • Internship in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Animal Medical Center
  • Residency in Zoological Medicine, Wildlife Conservation Society
  • M.P.A., School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University