Kari Cooke

Kari Cooke profile picture

Kari Cooke

Communication Services for the Deaf

“Mentoring is a way of paying tribute to my elders, honoring and respecting the many that paved the way for me, and equipping the next generation to not only survive but thrive in their personal, professional, and communal lives.”

We are proud to induct Kari Cooke into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

Kari Cooke specializes in Community Engagement and Organization Management. As a result of her community outreach she expanded her coalition-building impact, and is involved with colleagues and coalitions in local community and governmental groups such as Brooklyn Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Media Center, Senator Gillibrand Symposium on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and was selected as a Fellow of the New Leaders Council. Cooke is the former Director of Policy and Government Affairs for NBDA, where she works with the executive team on policy advocacy and strategic partnerships. She is a frequent speaker on Deaf Rights and Advocacy, serving on the Biennial State of Black Deaf America panel and as a delegate for the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) where she focuses on Deaf Higher Education advancement.

Her work in political advocacy started with her appointment by NY Governor Cuomo to the New York State Independent Living Council, along with her prior work as a Policy Analyst for the Center for Disability Rights and her time on the New Yorkers for de Blasio Campaign. Recently she was promoted for her political engagement with a federal appointment to the Obama Administration’s FCC Disability Advisory Council. Currently she is Vice President at Communication Services for the Deaf.

Formerly a graduate student in Higher Education Administration at the University of Pennsylvania, she finds time to continue her passion for combining advocacy, awareness, and education as a speaker at institutions such as CUNY, Columbia University, Gallaudet University, Nyack College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and more. Cooke has been recognized for her work in the community by the Center for American Progress as one of the Top 15 Inspiring Young Female Activists, lauded by Deaf Women United as A Deaf Woman Making History, and was selected as a U.S. Delegate at the United Nation’s International Young Leaders Assembly.