Preckwinkle Announces Key Budget and Asset Management Leadership Changes

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced today that County Budget Director Andrea Gibson will be leaving her position in early May to take on a new role as the Director of Project Management at the Cook County Health and Hospitals System. Cook County Bureau of Asset Management Chief John Cooke will also be leaving the administration in early May to join the federal government as the Public Building Service’s Regional Commissioner for the Great Lakes Region.

“Both Andrea and John have played a vital role in the transformation of Cook County into a fiscally responsible, accountable and transparent government agency. I’m extremely grateful to them for their hard work over these past four years. It’s clear that they both have bright futures ahead and I look forward to watching them continue to serve the public as they move into the next phase of their careers,” Preckwinkle said.

Since joining the Preckwinkle administration four years ago, Andrea Gibson has overseen the creation of four budget proposals, resolved over $900 million in budget deficits, pushed for increased transparency and improved efficiency of County operations. At CCHHS, she will serve as a key member of the team leading the transformation of the health system into a provider of choice, with a particular focus on overseeing critical projects to implement cost-saving improvements and efficiencies throughout the system.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as President Preckwinkle’s budget director for the past four years,” Gibson said. “I am proud of the work we have done to encourage smart management, spend wisely and foster long-term stability. From solving budget deficits to working to streamline government, we have made some important progress in the last couple of years. I am grateful for the opportunity to work for this administration and look forward to having a positive impact on the continuing transformation of health system operations.”

As the Chief of the newly created Bureau of Asset Management, John Cooke is responsible for directing and managing the strategy and direction for policies and standards applied to the county’s real estate, facilities, capital projects and asset management departments. He also planned, managed, and executed the county’s ten-year, $1.9 billion capital project program, and is overseeing the strategic redevelopment of the CCHHS campus, which is expected to generate significant new revenue and jobs by transforming 10 acres of underutilized real estate into a mixed-use urban development.

“Working for President Preckwinkle these past four years has been a great experience. We’ve made important changes in how we manage our facilities, prioritize capital projects and make effective use of surplus assets, all of which are resulting in both savings and improved services for taxpayers. It’s tough to move on, but I’m confident that we’ve got a great foundation in place for the future,” Cooke said.

The County is currently engaged in a national search to replace both Gibson and Cooke. Deputy Budget Director Shellie Riedle will serve as Interim Budget Director and Deputy Bureau of Asset Management Chief Xochitl Flores will serve as the Interim Bureau Chief of Asset Management during the search period.