Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced Tuesday the promotion of Anitra Henderson to Executive Director of External Affairs and Communications and the appointment of his former campaign manager Candace Cooksey as director of communications for the city of Mobile.
Henderson, a Mobile native, joined the Administration in 2016 as Director of Civic Engagement. In that role, she has successfully led city initiatives including the Youth Empowered for Success (“YES”) mentorship program and the Ignite Mobile plan to support local businesses suffering from the economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She currently leads the city’s Equity Initiative, which will continue in her new role.
Henderson has served as interim Director of Communications and External Affairs since July 20, following the announcement that George Talbot will be leaving the position to join Volkert Engineering.
“We are blessed with a diverse and talented team at City Hall, and I could not be more pleased to promote Anitra to this leadership position,” Stimpson said. “She’s played a vital role in so many of our successes. With 23 years of experience in strategic communications and governmental affairs, she is an exceptional choice to lead Communications and External Affairs for the City of Mobile.”
Cooksey, a Mobile native, helped lead Stimpson’s successful mayoral campaigns in 2013 and 2017. She was a co-founder of Alexander Cooksey, a political consulting, strategic communications and campaign management firm based in downtown Mobile.
“Candace is a seasoned message management and communications professional who is battle-tested in crisis communications, campaign management and political strategy,” Stimpson said. “She is a valuable addition to my Administration as we tackle the important challenges facing the City of Mobile.”
Henderson’s appointment is effective immediately, with Cooksey’s will take effect Aug. 17. Stimpson said the moves are part of a broader reorganization of his administration that could include additional appointments in the weeks ahead.
“I am proud of the team that has come together to help us transform Mobile,” Stimpson said. “Every day we are focused on finding new ways to improve our delivery of services to the citizens of Mobile, and I am excited to continue our mission to make Mobile safer, more business and family friendly.”
Talbot’s last day with the city is Friday.
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