Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.




Executive Director St. Louis, MO

We are pleased to share that from a very strong pool of candidates, Vanessa Cooksey has been selected to lead the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) as President and CEO effective November 2, 2020.

Cooksey, a widely respected leader in St. Louis with a life-long love of the arts,   brings more than 25 years of professional experience as a creative communicator and future-focused strategist with marketing, communications, and grantmaking leadership positions across a variety of government, non-profit, and for-profit organizations. Recognized with more than 50 industry and community awards, her previous experience includes roles with Wells Fargo, Anheuser-Busch Inbev, The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office, and Cartoon Network. In 2016 Cooksey was the recipient of the Eisenhower Fellowship and was named the 2018 St. Louis American Corporate Executive of the Year.

Cooksey brings to this role her high-energy personality and the skills RAC needs to continue to build partnerships, facilitate collaboration, address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the St. Louis community, and be an effective convener.

Cooksey currently serves on the board of directors for several local and national non-profit organizations including, the SIFMA Foundation for Investor Education, Harris Stowe State University, and The Deaconess Foundation. She earned a bachelor’s degree in radio-television-film from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in business administration from Webster University.



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