John K Cooper is a subject matter expert with The Stephen Group. Mr. Cooper was appointed Assistant Secretary of the State of Florida, Department of Children and Families in 2011. In that role, he was charged with directing statewide operations through the oversight of six Regional Directors, the Florida Abuse Hotline, and the Department’s headquarters program offices.

Mr. Cooper was responsible for a budget totaling approximately $1.7 billion representing operational costs and contracted services. He oversaw over 7,000 staff that deliver client services in the following program areas; ACCESS (TANF, food stamps, Medicaid eligibility), Child Protective Investigations, Adult Protective Services, Refugee Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, and Child Care Licensing.

From July 2007 to Sept 2011, John provided executive direction and supervision for all Departmental programs, service delivery, administrative services, operations, and financial management for 16 counties in the Central Florida area. He was responsible for over 2,000 employees with an annual operating budget of $450,000,000. He also had oversight of 5 judicial circuits and primary operational interface for 6 Community-Based Care lead agencies. In addition, Mr. Cooper:

  • Managed more than $250,000,000 in contracted services for dependency case management, mental health, alcohol and drug prevention & treatment, and other social services
  • Developed Region and Circuit business plans using the Balanced Scorecard
  • Implemented an interactive web-based performance dashboard
  • Had oversight of the largest Emergency Repatriation Center in U.S. history
  • Helped the agency he served maintain a #1 ranking in Region performance for four consecutive years

From August 2006 to July 2007, Mr. Cooper provided overall direction for all department delivering human services in a five county District. He was responsible for over 400 employees with an annual operating budget of almost $90 million. Some of Mr. Cooper’s accomplishments included:

  • Statewide Project Officer for a national demonstration project administered by the Quality Improvement Center on the Privatization of Child Welfare
  • Team Leader for an innovative prevention project
  • In partnership with the Community-Based Care lead agency – assisted with the redesigning and re-starting of the system of care

From May 2004 to August 2006, Mr. Cooper was responsible for operations in all program areas; Family Safety, ACCESS, Adult Services, and Child Care Licensing. He engaged community stakeholders and providers to ensure quality service.

Jan 2002 to May 2004, Mr. Cooper was responsible for all Hotline Operations including the Call Center, Information, technology, telecommunications, headquarters Investigative Support Unit, and direct supervision of five managers, 17 unit supervisors, and over 200 staff. Duties included; maintaining a low abandonment rate, reviewing unit and call center performance, developing and implementing policy, establishing staffing levels to correlate with the call volume, and quality improvement.

Mr. Cooper was also a Military Police Officer with the United States Army Fort Ord, California from Jan 1983 – Jan 1985, and has experience in criminal and accident investigations, evidence gathering, report writing, law enforcement procedures, and community relations. He received a Bachelor of Science in Criminology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 1988. He serves on Boards of Community Child Welfare agencies in the Orange County Florida area and currently resides with his family in Orlando Florida.