Conner Prairie has named Richard Cooper vice president-chief programs officer. He joins the leadership team of the museum from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, where he had worked since 2004. Most recently, Cooper served as director of museum experiences, responsible for the development and presentation of the center’s interpretive educational strategies in exhibit galleries. He has guided the center through the opening of nationally and internationally recognized exhibitions and programs.

Cooper is also the author and co-author of several publications on interpreting slavery and the Underground Railroad. His most recent co-authored book is “Cincinnati's Underground Railroad.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in American history from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in public history from Northern Kentucky University, where he has also been an adjunct professor of history graduate seminars.