Gov. Roy Cooper announced more staff hires on Tuesday, filling out his senior staff with longtime aides whose state government experience dates back to the Hunt administration, and expanding his communications office.
Jenni Owen will be the governor’s policy director. She has been the director of policy engagement at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Previously, Owen was a senior policy adviser in Gov. Jim Hunt’s office and with the state Division of Social Services.
Stephen Bryant and Julia White, both longtime aides to Cooper in the state Department of Justice, were named deputy chiefs of staff. Bryant was also executive assistant to Hunt and ran Cooper’s 2008 campaign for attorney general. White worked for the state Senate before working on Cooper’s 2000 campaign.
White will be responsible for policy, communications and budget. Bryant will supervise intergovernmental issues, appointments — including boards and commissions — and constituent services.
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Three additions to the press office were also named: Ford Porter and Jamal Little, who were Cooper’s campaign spokesmen, and Samantha Cole, who worked in communications in the justice department under Cooper.
“I am glad these staff members will help me move our state forward, and they are all excited to get started,” Cooper said in a statement his office released.
The governor still has seven Cabinet members to appoint. The statement indicated more will be named this week.