Oakland County Executive David Coulter has named Robin Carter-Cooper, currently executive director of instructional equity for the Rochester Community Schools, as the county’s first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer.
Carter-Cooper, a Flint native and Genesee County resident, begins her position with Oakland County on July 1 and will report directly to Coulter.
“The diversity of Oakland County continues to be one of its strengths and Robin brings with her extensive experience in facilitation and training on social justice topics as well as being a leader in strategic planning in diversity, equity and inclusion,” Coulter said. “She will be a tremendous asset to Oakland County. I’m excited to have her as an integral part of my senior leadership team.”
Carter-Cooper, 36, said she looks forward to the challenges the position requires.
“I am honored to be the first chief diversity, equity and Inclusion officer for Oakland County,” Carter-Cooper said. “I am pleased at the commitment and priority that the Coulter administration has placed on this work and I am humbled to work beside such a courageous and forward-thinking team. I look forward to partnering with community members, working closely with staff, and building capacity around this work throughout the county.”
Coulter and the Board of Commissioners collaborated to create the position earlier this year. Coulter said more than 30 percent of Oakland County’s population is ethnically diverse and it is important county policies ensure its workforce reflects the county’s diversity and that county government is an active community partner in promoting diversity initiatives.
Carter-Cooper’s responsibilities will include:
- Cultivating a welcoming, diverse and inclusive culture throughout the county’s internal and external community
- Establishing a process to achieve accountability and coordination of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to drive positive change in all aspects of the county
- Creating an expansive and far-reaching vision for diversity, equity and inclusion in Oakland County
- Fostering an environment of diversity, equity and inclusion that promotes open communication and collaboration across Oakland County communities, businesses and other organizations
- Fostering an environment that is highly focused on engaging county employees, community leaders, residents and business in diversity, equity and inclusion
- Creating a long-term diversity, equity and inclusion infrastructure internally and externally
In Rochester, Carter-Cooper had a host of diversity and instructional equity responsibilities with school administration, teachers, staff and the Board of Education, including as executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion. She began with Rochester in 2017.
Formerly, she was medical careers foundations teacher and work-based learning coordinator for Genesee Early College in Flint. She also was employed by the University of Michigan-Flint in the School of Health Professions and Studies as a program director and lecturer.
She has developed and facilitated workshops for teachers, administrators, counselors and support staff on various topics including:
- How to Create Culturally Competent Communities
- Systemic Racism and its Impact on Student Learning
- Culturally Responsive Teaching and Curriculum Design for Equity
- Cultural Competence in Health Care and Medical Mistrust
Carter-Cooper received her undergraduate degree from Georgia State University, graduate degree from Central Michigan University and education specialist from Oakland University.
She was honored in 2019 by Crain’s Detroit Business as a member of its “Most Notable Women in Education Leadership.”