He'll be leaving a job as government relations representative for Pacific Gas & Electric. Mr. Cogan worked as chief of staff for San Jose City Council members from 2007 to 2010, according to a city of Menlo Park press release, and as a paralegal for law firms in Menlo Park and Chicago. His civic involvement includes the Foster City Chamber of Commerce and the policy committee for the San Mateo County Economic Development Association.
Mr. Cogan earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Wheaton College in Illinois, the press release said.
"I am excited about quickly developing strong relationships with the business community of Menlo Park," he said. "Menlo Park has great momentum thanks to the extraordinary efforts to attract Facebook and it will be my goal to work with the business community, City staff and the Council to maintain the momentum."
As the Almanac first reported in November, City Manager Alex McIntyre decided to replace the city's first business development manager — Dave Johnson, who retired in 2011 — to maximize the opportunities presented by the new downtown/El Camino Real specific plan and Facebook's arrival in the community.
Mr. Cogan was chosen from a field of about 100 candidates that reportedly included a former director of San Jose's Redevelopment Agency.
"Jim is a proven advocate for large and small businesses and brings a broad range of skills to this position," Mr. McIntyre said in a written statement. "He has managed policy initiates affecting business entities and is skilled at coordinating the often competing interests of diverse stakeholders to find common ground."
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