Tai Cooper

Chief Community Development Officer

As  Chief Community Development Officer at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), Tai is responsible for leading the NJEDA’s communications and enhanced engagement strategy. This includes strengthening ties with policy-makers at the federal, state, and local level as they look to advance strategies, research and data that will help drive equitable and inclusive economic development policies and programs, with a specific focus on innovating and generating greater social impact.
Tai joined the NJEDA in February 2019. Immediately prior to that, she was the Deputy Chief Policy Advisor to Governor Murphy and led New Jersey’s Federal Opportunity Zone initiative. She previously served as Chief Policy Advisor to Mayor Ras Baraka, where she provided policy analysis and project management across municipal agencies, with a focus on public safety, community engagement, philanthropy, and government innovation. Tai also had key roles in both Mayor Baraka’s campaign and transition teams.
Tai began her political career as a Senior Aide to Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey), where she was responsible for managing numerous issues, including economic development, jobs/employment, education, banking and urban affairs. After working for Senator Lautenberg, Tai served as the Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Orange, New Jersey.
A Newark resident, Tai earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Urban Planning from The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and a Master’s Degree in urban planning from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.