EQAO Bids Farewell to Dave Cooke, Chair of Its Board of Directors

The agency also welcomes David Agnew, president of Seneca College, as its interim chair

October 10, 2018


Today the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) bids farewell to longstanding board member Dave Cooke.

After serving 10 years on EQAO’s Board of Directors — the last three as chair — Mr. Cooke is moving on. During his tenure, he made important contributions to the agency’s growth and development, and helped set the vision for the organization’s modernization efforts.

As the agency bids farewell to Mr. Cooke, it welcomes David Agnew as its interim board chair. Mr. Agnew is the president of Seneca College.

The transition comes at a time when EQAO is focused on modernization activities to ensure it continues to meet the needs of students, educators and the rest of the province of Ontario.


Dave Cooke

  • Dave Cooke was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario for 20 years. In the early 1990s, he served as Ontario’s minister of education. During this time, he established the Royal Commission on Learning, which led to the creation of EQAO.
  • Mr. Cooke is the former chair of the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network and the Seneca College board, and a former member of the Windsor-Essex Development Commission board. He also served as the chair of the board of governors of the University of Windsor, his alma mater, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work. Currently, Mr. Cooke is a co-chair of a steering committee planning the Windsor-Essex region’s new hospital system.
  • In 2008, Mr. Cooke was appointed to EQAO’s board of directors. He became chair in 2014.

David Agnew

  • David Agnew previously served as president and CEO of UNICEF Canada, principal at Digital 4Sight, executive vice-president of the Credit Union Central of Ontario, and Canada’s ombudsman for banking services and investments. He is a former chair of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and currently chairs the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health. Mr. Agnew was also secretary to the cabinet in Ontario from 1992 to 1995, after serving as principal secretary to the premier.
  • In 2012, Mr. Agnew was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his public and community service.
  • Mr. Agnew was appointed to EQAO’s board of directors in March 2018.


Photo of Dave Cooke

“Serving on EQAO’s board of directors for the past 10 years has been one of the highlights of my career. I have had the privilege to work alongside some of Ontario’s finest educators. The agency’s positive impact on public education has exceeded my expectations, and I know its focus on supporting positive educational outcomes for all students will continue.”

— Dave Cooke, Outgoing Chair, EQAO
Photo of David Agnew

“I would like to thank Dave for his tremendous contributions to this organization. EQAO will continue to support improvements in Ontario’s public education system, building upon the foundation that Dave helped establish. I look forward to working with the rest of the board, as well as the educators and staff at EQAO, on the important work of providing independent data on student achievement throughout the province.”

— David Agnew, Interim Chair, EQAO
Photo of Norah Marsh

“It is with mixed emotion that we say farewell to Dave Cooke. His commitment, engagement and passion are inspirational and have served the agency and Ontario’s students well. We are grateful to him for his service. We are fortunate to have as our interim chair David Agnew. As EQAO continues to modernize, David’s leadership experience in both the public and private sector will be an asset to the agency.”

— Norah Marsh, Chief Executive Officer, EQAO


EQAO Contact

Sophie Auclair
Communications Officer

Skip to content