Mayor Parker Hires Chief Procurement Officer

HOUSTON — Mayor Annise Parker today welcomed the City of Houston’s new Chief Procurement Officer, Lourdes Coss, MPA, CPPO. Coss has more than 25 years of experience, most recently as the former Chief Procurement Officer for Cook County, Illinois. Starting today, Coss will lead day-to-day procurement across all city departments as head of the Strategic Purchasing Division, reporting to the city’s Finance Director.

"I am proud to announce Lourdes as a member of the city team," said Mayor Annise Parker. "She has a lot to offer, and she will hit the ground running because Houston is one of the largest purchasers in the nation. We found one of the best and look forward to all she can accomplish, which will ultimately be to the taxpayers’ benefit.”

Her career accomplishments include organizational value-add transformations leading to significant operational efficiencies and staff development; cost savings of approximately $100M; procurement legislative changes that modernized and streamlined processes; the implementation of policy including financial capacity ratings for contractors, negotiation benchmarks for architecture and engineering, green procurement, minority and women-owned business inclusion; the creation of vendor performance management standards, and many others.

Coss’ primary responsibilities will include managing a team of senior direct reports who administer purchasing for most city departments; modernizing and transforming procurement processes; searching for and implementing overall cost reductions; assessing performance improvements in quality, lead time and receipt reliability improvement.

She has held appointments in various boards including the Power Alliance Board of Directors, a collaborative public energy purchase organization; University of Illinois at Chicago Green Purchasing Sub-Committee; the Business Enterprise Program Council; and the State of Illinois Disparity Study Oversight Committee. Coss was also the Midwest Region Board member of NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement.

Lourdes Coss holds a BSS (magna cum laude) from the University of Puerto Rico, an MPA from Florida State University, and is a Certified Public Purchasing Officer.

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