Tarrah Cooper is an expert communications and media relations strategist. As Partner of Rise Strategy Group, Cooper works with clients to harness the potential of social and electronic media for business development, reputation management, and crisis communications.
Formerly, Cooper was the Managing Director at Mercury, a leading global, bipartisan public strategy firm, where she was responsible for the business development and strategic communications at the firm’s new Chicago office.
Prior to joining Mercury, Cooper was the Press Secretary for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Cooper, a Chicago native, began working with Emanuel in 2010 as the Deputy Press Secretary of his mayoral campaign, where she served as a primary spokesperson and assisted with crafting, managing and communicating his strategic vision and priorities for Chicago. As Press Secretary, Cooper served as the Mayor’s day-to-day spokesperson, executing the communications strategy, as the Mayor oversaw Chicago's status as a world-class city. She was also responsible for the message development of major Chicago events such as the 2012 NATO Summit, the 2015 National Football League (NFL) Draft, Chicago Gourmet Food and Wine Festival, and the 2015 James Beard Awards.
Prior to her time as Press Secretary, Cooper worked in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Washington D.C., where she helped to manage the Department's messaging, priorities and actions for numerous national incidents including the H1N1 epidemic, the December 25th and Times Square attempted bombings, the Haitian earthquake, and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
In 2008, Cooper worked on the Obama-Biden Presidential Campaign in the pivotal state of Florida. She recruited, trained, and managed community leaders and volunteers, who actively worked to mobilize the community and increase voter contact. Also, Cooper was responsible for the execution of numerous community events, which successfully enhanced the campaign’s visibility and community involvement throughout the region.
Cooper began her career as a general assignment reporter at KOMU-NBC 8 in Columbia, Missouri.
Cooper is committed to a number of community organizations including Breakthrough Urban Ministries and the Primo Center for Women and Children where she serves on the board. Cooper is also a member of Loyola University’s Council of Regents, The Economic Club of Chicago and The Business Leadership Council.
Cooper graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-Columbia, with a degree in Journalism.