John Cooke Takes the Reins for Great Lakes PBS

Medium shot of John Cooke speaking to Great Lakes Region GSA employeesCHICAGO, May 4, 2015 – Former Cook County Asset Management Bureau Chief, John T. Cooke, Jr., took over as Public Buildings Service Regional Commissioner in GSA's Great Lakes Region today.

"I'm looking forward to continuing the tradition of Excellence here in Region 5," Cooke said, "as a conscientious and inclusive leader."

Cooke will lead a team of 580 employees, who manage more than 35 million square feet of federal space in nearly 1,100 owned and leased buildings throughout the region's six states.

"The PBS RC plays a critical leadership role in our region and in PBS nationally," Regional Administrator Ann Kalayil wrote in a recent message to regional employees. "John’s professional experience in both the public and private sectors gives him an unique perspective that will continue the success of our region."

Recognized in 2014 by the Chicago Defender as one of the city's 50 African American Men of Excellence, Cooke has developed and managed complex commercial initiatives and strategic programs for private real estate firms and local government. In his recent Cook County role, John was responsible for directing the county’s real estate, facilities, capital projects, and asset management projects and programs.

Cooke helped execute the county’s 10-year, $1.9 billion capital program, which included capital repairs and new construction of office, medical, correctional, and warehouse facilities. He also directed a 2013 Chicago Innovator Awards finalist team, which negotiated $60 million of guaranteed energy performance contracting for Cook County.

While in the private sector, Cooke simultaneously led nine project teams involved in new mixed use developments with an aggregate budget of more than $350 million. He also provided asset management services for the daily operations of public housing residences.

Cooke, an Illinois licensed real estate broker with a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation, holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame.

Last Reviewed 2015-10-15