Keynote Day 2: Mike Cooney, Lieutenant Governor of Montana
Mike Cooney became Montana’s 32nd Lieutenant Governor in January 2016 when appointed by Governor Steve Bullock. Mike is a long time public servant and elected official, having served in both houses of the Montana legislative branch and three terms as Secretary of State prior to being selected as Lieutenant Governor.
A committed public leader for Montana, Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney is Governor Bullock’s trusted partner as they work to advance the administration’s agenda of better jobs, better education and a more effective government.
Over the course of his career, Mike has a proven track record of helping Montana’s small businesses grow and succeed while finding ways to increase wages. He is a strong champion of Montana’s public education system and continually seeks innovative ways to support educators and increase funding.
Mike was first elected in 1976 to the Montana House of Representatives and served through 1980. He then served three terms as Secretary of State, from 1989 through 2000. Mike was a state Senator from 2003-2010, and was elected as Senate President in 2007. From 2001 to 2006, Mike served as Director of Montana Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies. Prior to his appointment to the Office of Lieutenant Governor, he served as Deputy Commissioner for the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.
Mike has served on several boards and commissions over the course of his career, including the Federal Election Commission, Helena Area Habitat for Humanity, Young Men’s Christian Association, Montana American Legion Boy and Girls State and the State Capitol Restoration Commission.
As Lieutenant Governor, Mike chairs the Montana Governor's Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee, a clearinghouse for the sharing of water supply and moisture conditions among state and local agency officials with responsibility to manage natural resources and support constituents most likely affected by drought, and the Labor-Management Advisory Council, which provides a structure for an organized discussion of workers' compensation public policy.
He graduated from Butte High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1979 from the University of Montana. Mike and his wife DeeAnn have three grown children Ryan, Colin and Adan.