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Tuesday, September 27, 2016
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Panelist Bio


Mark Cooper
Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Louisiana

Mark Cooper, formerly of Bossier City, was appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal as Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in January of this year after spending almost 20 years in California.

Previously, he served as a Deputy Fire Chief with the Los Angeles County Fire Department since 2003 and has over 18 years of public safety and emergency management experience. While with the Fire Department, he served as the department’s Emergency Coordinator and managed a one billion dollar budget, human resources for 4,200 personnel, and provided IT support for the department’s dispatch center. The Los Angeles County Fire Department is one of the largest in the nation and provides fire protection and lifeguard services to over three million residents, 165 fire stations, and 72 miles of coastline.

While with Los Angeles County, Cooper developed emergency plans and programs to support the Department's role in the County's Emergency Operations Center while serving as a member of the Emergency Management Council subcommittee and representing the Fire Chief. He also helped lead an LA County team deployed to New Orleans for four weeks in response to Hurricane Katrina to assist with continuity of Government and mass fatality management. From 2002 to 2003, Cooper served as the Division Chief of the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors over their business operations. He also served as the Bureau Chief of the Los Angeles County Police Department from 1998 to 2002, establishing their emergency operations center and developing emergency management plans for the 2000 Democratic National Convention.

Cooper previously served as the executive assistant to the Fire Chief of Los Angeles County from 1993 to 1998, developing fire safety recommendations for the county following the 1993 wildfires, coordinating demobilization and support of the Urban Search and Rescue team deployed to the Oklahoma City Bombing and managing employee assistance following the Northridge earthquake.

From 1991 to 1993, Cooper served as a Division Chief for the Los Angeles County Coroner's Department, serving as their first department emergency manager and coordinating response efforts to the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest. He also developed emergency management training programs for Universal Studios, NBC Studios, the California Specialized Training Institute, as well as local government in Los Angeles County.

In 2006, Cooper was named LSU Distinguished Alumni of the Year for the E.J. Ourso School of Business and Public Administration. He has also been recognized in Los Angeles County for his emergency management contributions including the 2000 Inaugural Award of Excellence in Emergency Management. In 2001, he received his Professional Development Certificate in Emergency Management from the Federal Emergency Management Association and has a Bachelor's Degree in Finance and Masters in Public Administration from LSU.

He has been married for fourteen years. He and his wife, Sandra, have four children, Sarah, Sam, Seth, and Sophie.

Current Topic


09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

How well is the state’s public school system really performing?

One national survey ranks Louisiana as 49th for academic achievement of public school students. Another national report ranks the state dead last. So, how well is the state’s public school system really performing? Where is there room for improvement? What will the new federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” mean for education in Louisiana? And how have the historic summer floods changed things? Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on “Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE.

The panelists are
• Superintendent Michael Faulk, Central Community School System
• James D. Garvey, Jr. , BESE Board President
• Scott Richard, Executive Director, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, D- Baton Rouge; House Education Committee

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and LSU Manship School of Mass Communication professor Robert Mann host the show. The program features interviews with Louisiana Education State Superintendent John White; Debbie Meaux, President of the Louisiana Association of Educators; Brigitte Nieland with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree.

“Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

Learn More!

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Special Presentation


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?

Recent Topics


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?


07/16 - Regular and Extraordinary: Legislative Review

Who are the winners and losers in Louisiana’s budget battle?


06/16 - Symbol or Statement? History in Public Spaces (encore)

Is the display of Civil War statues in public justified or do they belong only in museums?


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

»»» View all Topics!
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