Don Thompson was appointed to the Board of Trustees on July 1, 2009. He was born in Chicago and later relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana where he attended North Central High School. He is a 1984 graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, and he also received an honorary Doctorate in Science degree from Excelsior College.
Thompson is President and Chief Executive Officer of McDonald's Corporation, the world's largest foodservice company that serves 69 million customers every day in 119 countries and employs 1.8 million people across the globe.
Thompson began his career with Northrop Corporation in 1984 and subsequently joined McDonald's in 1990. Throughout his 23 years at McDonald's, Thompson has helped drive business results and global strategic innovation across the organization. Since joining as an electrical engineer in 1990, 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: to optimize the menu, modernize the customer experience and broaden restaurant accessibility.
A leader in the business community, Thompson serves on the Board of Directors for the McDonald's Corporation, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Catalyst, 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 by the Illinois Holocaust Museum (2012 Humanitarian Award), the Executive Leadership Council (2010 Corporate Award), the Trumpet Foundation (2008 Corporate Executive Award), and Black Enterprise (2007 Corporate Executive of the Year).