Cooper Follows Orange To Pepco

By Yolanda Woodlee and Nikita Stewart
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, April 10, 2008

D onna Cooper, director of policy for the D.C. Council, is following in her old boss's footsteps. Former council member Vincent B. Orange Sr., who represented Ward 5 for eight years, went to work for Pepco in February 2002. Cooper, who was Orange's committee clerk, has accepted a position working for him again.

Cooper will be the senior public affairs manager for the D.C. Pepco region, a position that reports directly to Orange. Orange is responsible for government affairs and public policy issues relating to the District.

Like Orange, Cooper will still work on the District's legislative issues. Orange is still spotted at the John A. Wilson Building. On Monday, he made an appearance at a council committee's hearing on a new contract for the lottery.

Cooper is the second policy staff member to leave the office, which was established by council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D). Jesse B Rauch, a policy analyst, left last month to fill the gap left by Gray's legislative counsel Nicole L. Streeter, who took a job as deputy general counsel for D.C. public schools under Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee.

Cooper worked for Orange for five years as clerk of government operations, which had oversight for 23 city agencies. Cooper, who has a doctorate in public policy and U.S. government, will serve as a liaison with government entities, business organizations and community leaders.

"Having Donna at Pepco is a great asset," Orange said. "With her unique skills set, she'll have an opportunity to do research and help us establish policy for the blueprint for the future, [including] our proposed 230-mile transmission from Northern Virginia to New Jersey."

Orange said Cooper's experience had made her an expert on many local and federal government issues.

"That experience will take her a long way in the Pepco family," he said. "She can be on the same track as a Beverly Perry, senior vice president for Pepco Holdings Inc.; Deborah Royster, deputy counsel; and Debbi Jarvis, vice president of corporate communications."

Falcicchio Going West

Speaking of departures, John Falcicchio, adviser to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D), has taken a leave to work on the mayoral campaign of former NBA all-star Kevin Johnson.

Kris Deutschman, a volunteer spokeswoman for Johnson's mayoral bid in Sacramento, said in an interview Tuesday that Falcicchio "started maybe, what, three or four days ago."

The young fundraiser and field coordinator got the nickname "Johnny Business" because of his work ethic. He apparently has Fenty's blessing to share those skills with Johnson, who is challenging incumbent Heather Fargo. The primary is June 3.

Fenty hosted a fundraiser Monday afternoon for Johnson at the Woodward Building. About 35 to 40 people attended; Deutschman said she did not have a tally of how much money was raised.

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