Margret R. Cooke
Margret R. Cooke
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Commissioner Margret Cooke oversees a public health workforce of nearly 3000 and an expansive department comprised of eight bureaus and offices responsible for a range of programs, from environmental health to infectious diseases, injury prevention, to maternal and child health. In addition, the department licenses health professionals and facilities that impact public health and operates the state public health laboratory and four public health hospitals.
Cooke was appointed Acting Commissioner by Governor Charlie Baker in June 2021 before being named to the position permanently in February 2022. Cooke previously served as Deputy Commissioner for the Department in 2020. Before that, she served as General Counsel for the Department for almost six years, providing legal and strategic counsel and guiding the department through critical public health issues including the COVID-19 and vaping public health emergencies, the opioid epidemic, Title X and family planning funding, EEE and West Nile Virus outbreaks, and Long-Term Care Facility oversight.
Prior to DPH, Cooke led the Health Care Division in the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General where she worked to eliminate barriers to mental health parity. Her prior legal work focused on consumer protection issues including unfair lending practices and financial and health data security.
Cooke has a demonstrated commitment to public health and has dedicated her legal career to public service in fields as varied as child welfare, domestic violence, and civil rights. She holds a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law, and a BA degree from Mount Holyoke College.