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(334) 356-7158

William J. Cook, Jr., Ph.D.

Founder & President, Cambrian Group

Since 1977, Dr. Cook and his Associates have facilitated strategic plans for 1,450 systems of education and trained more than 16,000 facilitators of strategic planning.  In addition to U.S. school districts of all sizes, demographics, and economic circumstances - clients include state administrator and school board associations, state departments of education, American international schools, as well as ministries of education in other countries.

His book, Strategic Planning for America’s Schools introduced strategic planning to education in 1986 and has become a standard text for college courses.  His most recent books are STRATEGICS: The Art and Science of Holistic Strategy; THE EVOLVING CORPORATION: A Humanist Interpretation; UNENCORPORATING EDUCATION: Teaching and Learning in a Free Society. His most popular monographs are:  “When Reform Becomes the Status Quo”, and “Leaders vs. Leadership.”  He is a frequent speaker on state and national conferences.  Two of his speeches on education have been published in the Congressional Record.

A  native Alabamian, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and History from Jacksonville State University and a Master of Arts degree in English and a Doctor of Philosophy in British Literature from Auburn University.  A distinguished military graduate, he served three and one-half years as a regular army officer; his last assignment was company

commander in a mobile air division. After the army, he served as assistant vice president and associate professor at Auburn University (at Montgomery).  He was also assistant to the president of Hudson-Thompson Inc.  In addition, he has served on several non-profit boards and advisory councils in higher education.


His experience in strategic planning includes:

  • Participation in the development of the air assault concept by the U.S. Army

  • The creation and accreditation of a new four-year state university with a 500-acre campus - (Auburn University Montgomery)

  • The positioning of private companies for public offering

  • The creation of holding companies (U.S. and abroad)

  • Moving companies from NASDAQ to NYSE

  • Planning and training for National and Provincial Ministries of education, health systems, and aviation

  • Strategic Planning for numerous commercial enterprises in manufacturing, banking, public utilities, insurance, retail, entertainment, real estate development, energy, as well as religious denominations

  • Two years’ study at the Planning Center, American Management Association.



He is a member of several academic and professional societies (including Sigma Tau Delta, Phi Kappa Phi, Scabbard and Blade) and is listed in numerous Who’s Who publications.  In 1986 he was named a Distinguished Professor of the National Academy of School Executives.