Dr. Christopher Cooper
Director, Public Policy Institute
Office: 355 Stillwell
Christopher Cooper is the Department Head of Political Science and Public Affairs at Western Carolina University. His work on state politics, political communication, public policy, and political behavior has been published in Public Administration Review, Social Forces, Policy Studies Journal, Political Research Quarterly, State Politics and Policy Quarterly, American Politics Research, Social Science Quarterly, PS: Political Science and Politics, State and Local Government Review, Popular Government, and other journals as well as in edited works published by Brookings Institution Press, Congressional Quarterly Press, and the University Press of Kentucky, among others. His book, The New Politics of North Carolina (edited with Gibbs Knotts) was recently published by the University of North Carolina Press. His work uses a variety of research and data collection techniques including surveys, experiments, archival research, and qualitative interviewing.
In addition to his academic work, Dr. Cooper frequently conducts evaluation studies and surveys for local governments and non-profits throughout North Carolina. He is also co-author of two versions of the Regional Outlook Report, a major outreach initiative by Western Carolina University that assessed public opinion in the 23 westernmost counties. He frequently publishes op-eds in newspapers throughout the Southeast and gives talks throughout the region about politics and public policy.
Director of the Local Government Training Program
Assistant Director of the Public Policy Institute
The Local Government Training Program coordinates programming to address the training needs of public officials and local government professionals in the 26 westernmost counties in North Carolina. In addition, we organize meetings of the Western North Carolina Managers Association (WNCMA), which is a group of city and county managers in the westernmost 26 counties.
Charlie attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he received his B.S.B.A with a focus in Economics. Charlie first developed his passion for public policy at the local level during an internship with his hometown economic development organization, Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA). Currently, he lives in Asheville with his fiancée, Melissa, and their adorable cat, Veve.
I am currently getting my Master’s in Public Affairs at Western Carolina University (WCU) and will graduate in May of 2023. I graduated from WCU with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Criminal Justice and a minor in leadership theory. I have a comprehensive background in public service, every position from my first job to today was motivated to improve my community. I plan on continuing my service after graduation in the field of Emergency Management in North Carolina both at the state and county level. My dream is to combine my passion for emergency administration with public policy.
Hannah attended UNC-Wilmington where she received her BA. She took a job as a flight attendant after undergraduate and was able to move to DC for five years. She has a passion about plugging in to life wherever she lives and in our nation’s capital that meant she threw herself into interests that revolved around government work and how the government can impact the lives of its citizens. She knew she wanted to involve herself in that impact, but on a more local and personal level. So she moved back home to North Carolina and got to work. Currently, she resides in Sylva.
Matthew attended Western Carolina University (WCU) for his undergraduate, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science, and is on track to graduate with his Master of Public Affairs (MPA) from WCU in May 2022. A native of the Western North Carolina region, Matthew developed his passion for public service while interning for the Town of Franklin, NC, his hometown, in the summer of 2018. Currently, Matthew resides in Asheville, NC.