Mayor-elect Sandy Stimpson began putting together the personality of his new administration Sept. 17 when he announced his new chief of staff —perhaps his most important appointment.
“I want to introduce the person who is going to be my chief of staff. His name is Colby Cooper,” Stimpson said. “I want to tell you why he is the most qualified person in Mobile’s history to be my chief of staff. Colby for 12 years was connected to Condoleezza Rice while she was with the department of state and White House.”
Cooper, who is an Oxford, N.Y. native, most recently served as director for corporate communications at PepsiCo, Inc., but began his career by working on the U.S. government’s Y2K monitoring program. He then worked six years at the White House on the National Security Council staff under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Following that time he began working with Rice and served as her principal aide at the White House and Department of State. He moved with Rice to be her chief of staff at Stanford University.
Eventually Cooper, his wife Jaime and children moved to Alabama and opened the Cooper-Lyon Group, but moved to Connecticut just six months ago.
With such an impressive resume, Stimpson jokingly revealed how he was successful in bringing Cooper to Mobile.
“The first thing you need to bring someone like Colby to Mobile is his wife needs to have been born here,” Stimpson said. Jaime Lyon Cooper was born in Mobile.
The mayor-elect continued on a serious note as he praised Cooper’s talents and abilities.
“I could not think of a more qualified and dedicated person to help lead my administration’s efforts to unite Mobile and bring the promise of a great city to reality,” Stimpson said. “Colby’s global experience will bring a perspective we desperately need and one that I value and will rely upon.
“Colby has invested himself in Mobile and this region before and we are thrilled he and his family were willing to return and serve on behalf of the great people of Mobile.”
Cooper then took a chance to thank current Chief of Staff Al Stokes, who announced his retirement after Mayor Sam Jones lost to Stimpson. Cooper was brief, but said he is ready to help the new administration.
“Let’s let actions speak louder than words and get to work,” he said. “I am humbled and excited by this opportunity and look forward to serving the citizens of Mobile during this transformational time in the city’s history.”
Stimpson also said there would be an announcement regarding another administration position next week, but did not say what position would be.
Following Aug. 27 election, City Finance Director Barbara Malkove and Mobile Police Chief Micheal Williams announced their retirements.
Stimpson told Lagniappe he planned on having a nationwide search for a new chief, but would also look inside the department.