Danese Cooper

Danese Cooper

Danese Cooper, September 2010
Born (1959-01-19) January 19, 1959
Residence California
Nationality American
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
Influences Meher Baba

Danese Cooper (born January 19, 1959[1]) is an American programmer,[2] computer scientist[3] and advocate of open source software.[4]


Cooper has managed teams at Symantec and Apple Inc. and for six years served as chief open source "evangelist" for Sun Microsystems before leaving to serve as senior director for open source strategies at Intel.[4][5][6] In 2009 she worked as "Open Source Diva" at REvolution Computing (now Revolution Analytics).[7] She is a board member of the Drupal Association[8] and the Open Source Hardware Association.[9] She is a board observer at Mozilla, and serves as a member of the Apache Software Foundation.[4] She was a board member at Open Source Initiative.[10] In February 2014, Cooper joined PayPal as their first Head of Open Source.[11]

Open source

Cooper's major work within the open source area of computer software has garnered her the nickname "Open Source Diva".[5][12] She was recruited, while at a sushi bar in Cupertino, to a position at Sun working towards opening the source code to Java. Within six months she quit frustrated by the claims of open source development with Java that Sun made, only to find that little "open sourcing" was taking place. Sun sought to keep Cooper understanding her need to further open source software and re-hired her as their corporate open source officer.[13] Her six years with Sun Microsystems is credited as the key to the company opening up its source code and lending support to Sun's OpenOffice.org software suite, Oracle Grid Engine, among others.[6][14] In 2009 she joined REvolution Computing, a "provider of open source predictive analytics solutions", to work on community outreach amongst developers unfamiliar with the programming language R and general open source strategies.[7] She has also made public speaking appearances discussing open sourcing, speaking at the Malaysian National Computer Confederation Open Source Compatibility Centre, OSCON, gov2.0 Expo, and the Southern California Linux Expo.[15][16][17][18] In 2005 Cooper was a contributing author to Open Sources 2.0: The Continuing Evolution.[19]

Wikimedia Foundation

In February 2010 Cooper was appointed Chief Technical Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation, leading their technical team and developing and executing the Foundation's technical strategy,[4][14][20] along with which she would also be working on outreach with Wikimedia volunteers to expand on development and localizing of software.[14] Cooper credits the open source community in helping her obtain the position at Wikimedia.[21] She left the organization in July 2011.[22]


In June 2011, Cooper started a consultancy, daneseWorks, whose first client was the Gates Foundation's shared learning collaborative (now called inBloom). She is currently helping[23] numenta/nupic with their open source & machine learning strategy.

Personal life

Danese Cooper obtained her high school diploma from Chadwick School and her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles. Upon graduation she spent time in Morocco as a volunteer in the Peace Corps.[7][13] Cooper credits her time with the Peace Corps as fostering her desire to travel and work within the developing world to explore policy, education and how open source software can "give certain kids another alternative". She is married to a software developer and enjoys knitting, which she often engages in during meetings.[13][24][25]


  1. "Danese's Board Member Summary at Drupal". assoc.drupal.org. Drupal. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  2. Simon, Leslie. "Geek Girl Of The Week: Danese Cooper". leslie-simon.com. Leslie Simon. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  3. "PayPal names Danese Cooper head, open source". Finextra Research. Retrieved 2016-03-11.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Noted & Quoted.". Computers in Libraries. 30 (4): 36–37. 2010.
  5. 1 2 "A Katt of Letters". eWeek. ZDNet. 22 (13): 64. 2005. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  6. 1 2 "Briefs". Computerworld. IDG. 39 (13): 8–12. 2005. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  7. 1 2 3 ""Open Source Diva" Danese Cooper Joins REvolution Computing" (Press release). Business Wire. 2009-03-24. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
  8. "Board of Directors" (Press release). Drupal Association. 2013-07-11.
  9. "Board of Directors" (Press release). Open Source Hardware Association. 2013-07-11.
  10. "Board Meeting Report" (Press release). Open Source Initiative. 2011-03-17. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
  11. http://m.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2014/02/20/paypal-hires-danese-cooper-to-run-open.html?ana=RSS&s=article_search&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bizj_sanjose+%28Silicon+Valley+%2F+San+Jose+Business+Journal%29&r=full
  12. Paul Festa (3 September 2001). "Rebellion festers in far-flung colonies of Microsoft's empire". Canberra Times.
  13. 1 2 3 Robin Miller (2008). "Open source diva Danese Cooper (video)". Video. SourceForge. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  14. 1 2 3 "Danese Cooper joins Wikimedia as CTO" (Press release). Wikimedia Foundation. 2010-01-28. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
  15. "Talk on open source Java projects". New Straits Times. 7 July 2003.
  16. "Danese Cooper". O'Reilly. 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  17. "OSCON 2008: Danese Cooper, Open Source Initiative and Intel Corporation: "Why Whinging Doesn't Work"". O'Reilly. 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  18. "Danese Cooper - Speaking Topic: WIOS: Why Whinging* Doesn't Work". Speakers. Southern California Linux Expo. 2002–2011. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  19. "Source is everything--the continuing evolution; O'Reilly releases "Open Sources 2.0"." (Press release). M2 Presswire. 2006-01-10. Retrieved 2011-04-13.
  20. "Content News". EContent. 33 (3): 13. 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  21. Lisa Hoover (2010). "Wikimedia Hires Danese Cooper as New CTO". Blog. Ostatic. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  22. "CTO Leaving Wikimedia Foundation end of July". Wikimediaannounce-l.
  23. Video on YouTube
  24. Sean Michael Kerner (2010). "Wikimedia Gets New CTO". Newslinx. Internet.com. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  25. Jim Grisanzio (Mar 20, 2005). "Danese Inside" (Blog). all you really need to know about Danese is that she knits in meetings,
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