Release | December 22, 2021

Council for a Strong America Colorado State Director Appointed as Early Childhood Transition Director

Governor Jared Polis appointed M. Michael Cooke to the new position to help establish a new Department of Early Childhood

Today, Council for a Strong America is proud to announce that Colorado State Director M. Michael Cooke will be leading the Colorado Governor’s early childhood transition effort working with the Department of Human Services, Office of Early Childhood, and Department of Education to build the state’s new Department of Early Childhood.

In her role as State Director, Michael opened Council for a Strong America’s Colorado office in 2017, and has worked tirelessly since to promote advocacy for families and children in the state. As the Governor’s Early Childhood Transition Director, she will be furthering the state government’s commitment to supporting the care, education and wellbeing of all young children and families. In her new position, Michael will focus exclusively on the transition related to the establishment of the Department of Early Childhood, including working to build a strong operational plan for the first few years of the new agency.

“Council for a Strong America is thrilled that Governor Polis appointed Michael Cooke to lead this important initiative for children and families in Colorado. In the nearly five years that the office has been open, Michael has been a leading voice for children and families, and her leadership of CSA’s advocacy efforts has led to significant improvements to the state’s early childhood policies. While we are sad to see her leave the Colorado state office for this temporary assignment, we know the experience and work ethic she brought to Council for a Strong America will serve the people of Colorado well, as it always has,” said Barry Ford, President and CEO of Council for a Strong America.

Prior to becoming Council for a Strong America’s Colorado State Director, Michael was elected to two terms on the Board of County Commissioners in Douglas County followed by an appointment by former Governor Bill Owens to his cabinet. In that role, she served as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies and later as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue. Michael then joined a public charter school serving at-risk K-12 students throughout Colorado.


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