David Cole is the president and CEO of the Science History Institute. Before joining the Institute in May 2020, he served as the executive director of the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware. Prior to his tenure at Hagley, Cole held positions as the vice president for advancement, communications, and public education of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and as the director of strategic initiatives for the Harvard Art Museums of Harvard University.

Cole has been a Henry Luce Foundation Fellow and a research fellow of the Learning Innovations Laboratory of Harvard University. He has taught at Harvard University, Rice University, and the University of Texas, Austin. Cole chairs the boards of the Delaware Council on Economic Education and the Wilmington Children’s Chorus, is a trustee of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, and is a member of the Philadelphia Committee on Foreign Relations. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, he received a master’s degree from Harvard University and a PhD in the history of art and American studies from the University of Texas, Austin.