Cole Wilbur is the former president of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, a position he held from 1976 to 1999. As president of the Foundation, and as a trusted philanthropic advisor to both David and Lucile Packard and their children, Cole guided the Foundation through periods of unprecedented and sustained growth in assets, grantmaking, and staff. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was the executive director and CEO of the Sierra Club Foundation.
Cole was the interim president and CEO of the Council on Foundations in 2005 and served as a senior fellow of the Council on Foundations from 1999 to 2000. In 1999, he received the Distinguished Grantmaker Award from the Council on Foundations.
Cole serves on the boards of Colorado College, the Institute for Global Ethics, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, the NARAL Foundation, and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation, and on the advisory boards of the Sierra Club Foundation, the Entrepreneurs Foundation, and the American Land Conservancy. His past board affiliations include the Council on Foundations, the Foundation Center, Northern California Grantmakers, Peninsula Grantmakers, the Global Fund for Women, the Peninsula Conservation Center, and the University of San Francisco Institute for Nonprofit Management.
Cole is the coauthor of Grantmaking Basics and Grantmaking Basics II. He has spoken to hundreds of groups of foundations and philanthropists around the world regarding ethics and values, and a wide variety of methods to improve how foundation can be more effective.
Cole received both his undergraduate and MBA degrees from Stanford University.