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North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper

Meet the First Lady

First Lady Kristin Cooper
First Lady Kristin Cooper

Kristin Cooper is honored to serve as First Lady of North Carolina, a state she has called home for most of her life.

The daughter of an artist and a Vietnam veteran and physician, Mrs. Cooper grew up in Oklahoma City along with her three younger sisters. She attended public schools, earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma, and then attended Campbell Law School in North Carolina. After graduating law school, she worked as a staff attorney to the legislature in Oklahoma and in North Carolina.

Kristin Cooper is using her platform to improve the well-being of children in North Carolina. She champions initiatives, organizations, and people who are working to create a safe, nurturing, healthy environment for children and their families. Her focus will be on foster care, child abuse and neglect, childhood hunger, and literacy. Additionally, she will focus on the arts and nature to ensure that all children in North Carolina have access to play and thrive creatively. Mrs. Cooper’s attention to these causes will underscore how the integration of these issues stems from the effects of adverse childhood experiences, trauma, toxic stress, and poverty.

Kristin has served as a guardian ad litem for children in Wake County since 2003, using her legal training to represent foster children in court. Kristin and other guardians ad litem assure that at-risk children do not become neglected or abandoned. Kristin also served two terms on the North Carolina Arts Council, and recently served on the Board of Directors at Raleigh Little Theatre, where she and her daughters have volunteered for many years.

She and Governor Roy Cooper raised their three daughters here in North Carolina. Each of them is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In addition to her advocacy for children, Mrs. Cooper also has a passion for North Carolina’s wildlife. As an amateur birder, she joined efforts with Audubon North Carolina to restore native plant life to the grounds at the North Carolina Executive Mansion. Together, they’ve planted over 1,000 native plants, carefully selected to support native bird and pollinator populations on the Mansion’s downtown Raleigh plot. A similar garden is in the works at the Governor’s Western Residence in Asheville.

Today, Kristin and Roy make their home in Raleigh with their two cats. Kristin’s friends are frequently treated to photos of plants blooming in her yard, birds that nest on her porch, and her latest knitting projects.

Mrs. Cooper is currently working toward her goal to visit all 100 counties in North Carolina before the end of 2020. Her favorite part of being first lady is the unique opportunity to explore North Carolina and spend time with people everywhere she goes.