Don Thompson was appointed to the Board of Trustees on July 1, 2009. In 1984 he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University. He was also awarded an honorary Doctorate in Science degree from Excelsior College in Albany, New York.
Thompson began his career at Northrop Corporation in 1984 and went on to a 25-year career with McDonald’s Corporation, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer from 2012-2015. He joined McDonald’s in 1990 as an electrical engineer and later held a variety of key leadership positions within the company, including regional vice president, division president and chief operating officer, president of McDonald's USA, and president and COO of McDonald's Corporation. Thompson helped drive business results and global strategic innovation across the McDonald’s organization.
In addition to serving on the Purdue University Board of Trustees, Thompson serves on the board of directors for the Northwestern Memorial Hospital and is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, The Economic Club of Chicago, World Business Chicago, and the Arthur M. Brazier Foundation. He has also served on the board of directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities and Exelon Corporation.
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).