Newark’s chief policy officer taking job with Murphy

Tai Cooper, a chief policy officer for Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, is leaving to take a job with Gov. Phil Murphy as a deputy chief policy adviser, according to a report.

The move was first reported by TAPinto Newark.

According to the TAPinto report, Cooper is leaving with the full blessing of Baraka. She will begin in the new role next month.

“I’m incredibly excited,” she told the news site. “It’s a great team, and I still get to do a lot of work with the city that I love so much, which is Newark, New Jersey.”

Cooper, who has worked for the city of Newark since shortly after Baraka took office in 2004, praised the Baraka administration.

“I think (Mayor Baraka leads) one of the most progressive administrations in the nation,” she said. “I received a tremendous opportunity and access to many great things working on policies that are game-changing for the city of Newark.”

Cooper served as Baraka’s spokesperson and policy adviser during the highly contentious 2014 mayoral campaign.

(READ MORE from ROI-NJ on another Murphy administration addition.)

She is a graduate of Montclair Kimberley Academy, Rutgers University’s Douglass College and New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Cooper, who previously worked in the office of the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, has a family history in politics. Her father, Marshall Cooper, worked in city government for two decades as a director in the administration of former Newark Mayor Sharpe James.