Coulter Expands Leadership Team with Economic Development and Public Policy Expertise

Oakland County Executive David Coulter has attracted two additional leaders to join him in serving Oakland County as deputy county executives during this vital juncture for county government, rounding out his leadership team in less than a month.

“I wanted deputy county executives who could hit the ground running with vast experience and a passion for public service,” Coulter said. “I now have four individuals fully representative of our county and dedicated to building from a strong foundation to an even brighter future.”

New deputy county executives include:

Sean Carlson, who will focus on economic development, fiscal issues and maintaining the highest integrity in all county IT and procurement practices. His start date was Sept. 23.

Rudy Hobbs, who will concentrate on public policy development, advocating for the county at local, state and federal levels and ensuring quality service to Oakland County communities and residents. He begins working for the county Oct. 7.

Coulter previously announced the appointment of Hilarie Chambers as chief deputy county executive and April Lynch as deputy county executive.

Sean Carlson

Sean Carlson currently serves as the executive director of the Michigan Defense Center. He is a key architect of Michigan’s “Protect & Grow” strategy to attract Department of Defense missions, to improve the aerospace and defense industry and to assist small businesses in diversifying into the defense industry. He also served as vice president of the international trade program at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Carlson was the senior deputy director of Michigan’s Department of Management & Budget from 2003 to 2006. Under his leadership, the National Association of State Procurement Officials recognized Michigan’s procurement organization as among the top five in the U.S. in 2005. The National Association of Government Accountants named Carlson as one of the top state leaders in the country in 2006 for his development of policies bringing integrity to public procurement, creation of a statewide MiDEAL (cooperative buying) program, and leading state efforts to save over $250 million in government contracting.

Carlson enlisted in the U.S. Army at 17. He was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force in 1992. After 20 years in the Air Force both on active duty and in the Air National Guard, he retired as a lieutenant colonel.

Carlson currently serves on the Huron Valley Schools Board of Education, where he is the senior member. He lives in Commerce Township with his wife, Nicole, and children, Leana and Caiden.

He holds three degrees from Michigan State University: a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, a master’s degree in Labor Relations and Human Resources, and a juris doctor degree.

“Sean’s record of leadership in diversifying Michigan jobs and driving international investment make him a welcome addition to my team,” Coulter said. “His government fiscal experience will also enable Oakland County to preserve its multi-year budgeting practices with an eye on retaining the county’s AAA bond rating.”

“I look forward to the opportunity to build on the economic development successes of the past and to lead the future efforts to ensure that Oakland County is driving job growth in the region and the state, Carlson said. “It is an honor to be invited by County Executive Coulter to join his team and execute his vision of bringing an inclusive and robust business development program. I want to thank the county executive for the opportunity to serve in the county in which I have raised my family and have called home for the last 20 years.”

Rudy Hobbs

Rudy Hobbs will be the first African American to serve as a deputy county executive. Hobbs served two terms in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2011-2014, where his colleagues elected him the Democratic Floor Leader. He represented the city of Southfield, Lathrup Village, Oak Park, Beverly Hills, Franklin and Royal Oak Township.

He led the district office for U.S. Rep. Sander Levin and served as a statewide policy advisory for Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Lt. Gov. John Cherry from 2006-2009. He helped Warren Evans transition to Wayne County executive, serving as chief of staff from 2015-2017. He joins the county administration from Michigan Legislative Consultants, a Lansing-based lobbying firm where he has represented clients since 2017.

Hobbs currently serves on the boards of the League of Conservation Voters and City Year Detroit. He has served on the board of directors of several regional education and nonprofit institutions, including Botsford Hospital, Art Institute Authority, Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, Birmingham YMCA, Lathrup Village Community Foundation, Lathrup Village and the South Oakland County NAACP.

Hobbs holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Teaching and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration, both from Michigan State University. He started his career as a teacher in Detroit and Southfield. He currently lives in Southfield with his wife, Dedra, and three daughters. Amyre is a senior in high school, Alexis is a sophomore at Spelman College and Amber just started law school at the University of Wisconsin.

“Rudy is a natural leader whose diverse experience in federal, state and county government along with his strong connections to local communities will be invaluable to Oakland County,” Coulter said. “I selected Rudy to lead departments that have significant interaction with the public because of his people-centric focus.”

“I’m grateful to County Executive Coulter for his confidence in my ability to help serve the residents of Oakland County,” Hobbs said. “I believe that good government always puts people first.”

For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Oakland County media and communications officer, at 248-858-1048.