A 1984 graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, Don Thompson was appointed to the Board of Trustees on July 11, 2009. He was born in Chicago and later relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana where he attended North Central High School.
Thompson is President and Chief Executive Officer of McDonald's Corporation, the world's largest foodservice company that serves nearly 68 million customers every day in 119 countries and employs more than 1.7 million people across the globe.
Thompson began his career with Northrop Corporation in 1984 and subsequently joined McDonald's in 1990. Throughout his 22 years at McDonald's, Thompson has helped drive business results and global strategic innovation across the organization. He has held a variety of key leadership positions within the company including Regional Vice President, Division President and Chief Operating Officer. Between 2006 and 2010, Thompson served as President of McDonald's USA, the company's largest business segment. Most recently, as President and COO of McDonald's Corporation, Thompson and his leadership team established three global growth priorities in support of the McDonald's Plan to Win: optimizing the menu, modernizing the customer experience and broadening restaurant accessibility.
A leader in the business community, Thompson serves on the board of directors for the McDonald's Corporation, Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Exelon Corporation, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Purdue University. Thompson also serves as a member of Civic Committee of the Commercial Club, The Economic Club, World Business Chicago and the Brazier Foundation.
Thompson has been recognized for his leadership and passion for helping others by numerous organizations, including the Illinois Holocaust Museum (2012 Humanitarian Award), the Executive Leadership Council (2010 Corporate Award), the Trumpet foundation (2008 Corporate Executive Award), and Black Enterprise Magazine (2007 Corporate Executive of the Year). Thompson was also awarded the Purdue University Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineering Award and was named a Purdue Old Master Fellow in 2006. In addition, he received an honorary Doctorate in Science degree from Excelsior College in Albany, New York, in 2008.