Cockrel named director of Habitat for Humanity Detroit

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Detroit — Kenneth Cockrel Jr., former city councilman and interim mayor, has been named executive director of Habitat for Humanity Detroit, according to the nonprofit.

Cockrel was appointed after a “thorough six-month search process” by the organization, which provides affordable housing to low-income families, officials said in a Thursday press release.

“I am looking forward to this new challenge and continuing to serve the public in this important role,” Cockrel said in a statement. “I am dedicated to the nonprofit sector because it provides vital human services and cultural enrichment to our communities.

“Habitat for Humanity plays a key role in visioning and championing Detroit's neighborhood revitalization, and I’m excited to lead this great organization into the future.”

Cockrel most recently served as executive director for the Detroit Future City Implementation Office, leading a 13-person team aimed at fulfilling the Detroit Strategic Framework, officials said. The 353-page Framework lays out a 50-year land use vision for the city.

Cockrel also served as a Detroit council member for 16 years, including one term as council president and four terms on the Wayne County Commission. He was briefly interim mayor of Detroit from September 2008 to May 2009 after disgraced Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s resignation.

As a council member, Cockrel helped pass legislation addressing over-concentration of liquor stores and pawn shops in neighborhoods, officials said. He also established the Green Task Force to encourage green practices in new construction and existing buildings.

“We are very pleased to announce this appointment,” Habitat for Humanity Detroit board chairman Bishop Edgar Vann ll said. “Ken will bring leadership and creativity to the organization and will strive to strengthen our programs with a deep sense of commitment.”

Vann’s statement continued: “Ken has the experience, the knowledge base and the relationships to be successful in helping us reach our goals and objectives. We are looking forward to him taking Habitat Detroit to the next level.”

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