- President and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group
- Board member of Environmental Media Services
Kenneth Cook is the president and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group (EWG). He also serves on the board of Environmental Media Services. Both groups were spun off by the Tides Center. Prior to founding EWG in 1993, Cook was vice-president of the Center for Resource Economics, itself a division of Island Press, a leftist-environmental publisher founded by Mellon heiress Catherine Conover. In 2000, Progressive Farmer named Cook “One of the Most Influential Agricultural Leaders of the 20th Century,” along with Rachel Carson and Aldo Leopold.
Cook earned B.A., B.S., and M.S. degrees from the University of Missouri at Columbia. He is married to Deb Callahan, one-time Al Gore aide and president of the League of Conservation Voters. Cook began his environmentalist career as a lobbyist and later as media director for the World Wildlife Fund. He was also a campaign aide to Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis in 1988.
Cook has been a harsh critic of political leaders in both major parties. He was sharply critical of President Clinton, accusing him of being unduly influenced by the pesticide lobby. He has condemned even fellow environmentalists like Sam Wyly, chairman of the “green” energy group GreenMountain.com, for endorsing George W. Bush – whom Cook considers an enemy of environmental protection measures – in the 2000 Presidential campaign.