Cooper Makes First Two Cabinet Picks

Jan 4, 2017

Gov. Roy Cooper has announced his first cabinet picks.
Credit Courtesy of Roy Cooper

Governor Roy Cooper has made cabinet picks for the department of environmental quality and the department of transportation.

The new Democratic governor tapped Michael Regan to lead the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. Regan was most recently the Southeast regional coordinator for the Environmental Defense Fund. Before that, he worked in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under presidents Clinton and Bush from 1998 to 2008.

Under recently passed state law, the Republican-led senate will have to confirm Cooper's cabinet picks. Cooper told reporters he believes Regan can work with Republican lawmakers, despite his past at the left-leaning EDF.

"Michael Reegan has shown time and again that he has been able to bring diverse groups together, people with different thoughts about how to move the state forward," he said.

Cooper also selected longtime Department of Transportation (NCDOT) engineer and former NCDOT chief operating officer Jim Trogdon to lead the NCDOT. Most recently Trogdon has worked for the SAS Institute as National Transportation Director.

Cooper says Trogdon's experience makes him right for the job.

"He has both the management skills and the hands-on knowledge to help build and maintain our transportation needs with our eyes fixed firmly on the future of our state and our growing transportation needs with our growing population," he said.

The governor also announced a slew of interim cabinet positions, people Cooper says will keep the executive branch moving while Cooper "nails down" his selections.

Cooper told reporters he has had "obstacles" in filling cabinet positions.

"I've think we've moved pretty well considering we had four weeks of fighting to make sure the election held, and on top of that three special legislative sessions that I was involved with pretty directly," he said.

Cooper said he believes the next appointments will be coming "pretty fast."