President and CEO of NextEnergy in Detroit, one of the nationís leading accelerators of alternative and renewable energy. Cooley and his team facilitate strategic consortia for applied research, connect ventures and emerging technologies to strategic partners, and help companies find ways to participate in this rapidly expanding industry. Prior to joining NextEnergy, Cooley was director of Michiganís Department of Labor and Economic Growth and a member of the governorís cabinet. In this capacity, he directed the activities of more than 4,000 employees in 35 agencies and managed a $1.4 billion budget. His principal objectives were to ďup-skillĒ Michiganís workforce to compete in a global community and provide opportunities for economic recovery. Cooley has also played significant roles with General Electric, General Motors, and Motorola, and was CEO of Focus: HOPE, where he championed workforce development serving underrepresented urban youth. His other professional activities include serving the Engineering Society of Detroit and sitting on the boards of the University of Michiganís College of Engineering, the Michigan Environmental Council, the Michigan Climate Action Council, and the Michigan Strategic Economic Investment and Commercialization Board. Previous board service includes the Detroit Institute of Ophthalmology, Bioscience Research and Commercialization Center, Workforce Innovation for Regional Economic Development, and University Preparatory Academy. He has been recognized in Who's Who in the World
and a General Motors Presidentís Council honoree. He is a life member of the National Black MBA Association and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honorary Society. Cooley received a bachelorís in engineering physics and a masterís in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan. As a graduate student, he founded U of Mís Minority Engineering Programs Office.