Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett on Monday was named second vice president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, putting him on track to become president of the organization in 2016.
A nominating committee selected Cornett over the weekend, and the mayors ratified the selection Monday morning during the final day of their four-day annual meeting in Dallas. Cornett has been serving on the conference’s 13-member board of trustees.
He will become the first Oklahoma City mayor to lead the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a nonpartisan organization for the nearly 1,400 U.S. cities with populations of 30,000 or more. Past presidents have included Fiorello LaGuardia, of New York; Kathy Whitmire, of Houston; and Richard J. Daley, of Chicago.
As second vice president, Cornett said his primary role will be to help President Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, Calif., fulfill his mission for the conference. Johnson, a former NBA star with the Phoenix Suns, is turning a spotlight on education. Cornett took part in a panel discussion on education excellence hosted by Johnson on Friday, the first day of this year’s meeting.
“Education is kind of front-and-center for Kevin,” Cornett said.
While it’s too early to discuss a focus for his own presidency, Cornett said his leadership role will offer the chance to direct more attention toward Oklahoma City and to host gatherings in the city.
“There’ll definitely be opportunities to discuss Oklahoma City’s successes,” he said.
Cornett joins the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ leadership team with Johnson and Vice President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, of Baltimore, who is to become president next year.
Upcoming activities that Cornett said he could attend include a leadership meeting in September in Sacramento, a summit in New York on income inequality, and a gathering in Little Rock, Ark., focused on law enforcement.
In the meantime, Cornett said, he’ll be prepared to lead a meeting or event as necessary while “learning the ropes” so he’s ready to fulfill his responsibilities when he assumes the top leadership post.