Cooper names environmental, DOT cabinet secretaries

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Gov. Roy Cooper chose Michael Regan, left, and Jim Trogdon for two key cabinet posts.

Gov. Roy Cooper continued to fill out his administration, naming two cabinet secretaries Tuesday.

To lead the Department of Environmental Quality, Cooper has selected Michael Regan, a leader in environmental advocacy with experience in working with energy and businesses.

Regan served as Southeast Regional Director of the Environmental Defense Fund and National Director of the Energy Efficiency Southeast Climate & Energy Policy from 2008-2016. He also worked with the EPA on air quality for the Clinton and Bush administrations from 1998-2008.

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Regan is a native of eastern North Carolina and a graduate of North Carolina A&T University with a master's degree in public administration from George Washington University.

"Michael Regan has the environmental background to know that protecting state resources is vital to our state's health and economic climate," Cooper said. "He also has the government experience and diplomacy to understand that working together is the way to get things done."

Cooper also named Jim Trogdon, an engineer with decades of experience in state government and the military to lead the NC Department of Transportation.

Trogdon served as Chief Operating Officer for the DOT before his retirement in 2013 and as Director of Strategic Transportation planning for the NC General Assembly. He leaves his current work at SAS Institute as National Transportation Director to lead the DOT.

Trogdon is a Major General who holds a master's in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College as well as two civil engineering degrees from N.C. State University.

"Jim Trogdon knows North Carolina's transportation successes and challenges better than anyone, and he will bring technical know-how and smart solutions to the job," Cooper said. "Our state's growing population and business climate need good roads and smart mass transit, and he will lead the way."

On Wednesday, Cooper also installed experienced managers to temporarily supervise state cabinet agencies. These appointees will oversee state departments while the process for appointing cabinet secretaries is completed.

Cooper has asked the following individuals to serve as caretaker supervisors of the following departments:

- Britt Cobb, Department of Administration
- George Sherrill, Department of Commerce
- Bill Ross, Department of Environmental Quality
- Dempsey Benton, Department of Health and Human Services
- Kevin Cherry, Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
- Linda Hayes, Department of Public Safety
- Ron Penny, Department of Revenue
- Mike Holder, Department of Transportation

"We're hitting the ground running by making sure veteran managers are in place across state agencies," Cooper said. "I'm grateful these experienced public servants have agreed to serve temporarily."

Other Cooper Administration senior staff and cabinet officers will be announced later.

North Carolina's inauguration ceremonies will take place January 7 in downtown Raleigh.

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