Josephine Cooper is group vice president, Government and Industry Affairs for Toyota Motor North America (TMA). She has primary responsibility for the direction of Toyota’s federal government affairs, including legislative, regulatory and compliance issues.
Prior to joining Toyota in 2004, Cooper served for five years as the first president and chief executive officer of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a coalition of car and light truck manufacturers dedicated to improving vehicle safety and environmental progress. She created the new organization from the ground up. She maintained a coalition among nine member companies – two domestic and seven foreign imports. She was the first to lead an automobile trade association that included BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GM, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.
The Alliance released three voluntary vehicle safety commitments. Alliance member companies are now committed to stringent test procedures for side airbags. In 1999, Cooper led the Alliance to work with the EPA in developing strict tier two vehicle emission standards, and in 2000, led the Alliance to work with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop new advanced airbag standards that benefit consumers.
In addition to being group vice president at Toyota and president of the Auto Alliance, Cooper was also named president of the Organization International des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), the international vehicle manufacturers headquarters in Paris, France. The association represents more than 40 countries. She helped strengthen and enhance the relationship with the World Trade Organization and made measurable progress in developing “best practice” global technical standards for motor vehicles that all countries could adopt.
Cooper established the organization’s new office in Sacramento, California to lay the foundation for greater participation in addressing issues important to California. She also expanded the Southfield, Michigan office to allow greater member participation.
Cooper was instrumental in Toyota’s first appearance alongside Ford, GM, and Chrysler before the House Energy and Commerce Committee earlier this year. In–house studies show that awareness on Capitol Hill of Toyota’s positions has increased by 40 percent.
Cooper also co-founded Capitoline International Group, Ltd., a Washington, D.C. public affairs firm. She also established an international environmental and energy practice at Hill and Knowlton, Inc., where she created a global consulting network.
In 2000, Cooper was named one of the “One Hundred Leading Women in the Automotive Industry” by Automotive News. In 2001, she was also recognized by the Washington Magazine as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington.”