During a career with DTE Energy spanning 14 years, Rodney Cole has served in a variety of roles, gathering a vast array of experience.
Now Cole has been appointed as vice president of the DTE Energy Foundation, and director of community engagement for public affairs, DTE Energy. In his new role, Cole will lead the DTE Foundation’s operations and grant strategies, and will play a key role in advancing DTE’s efforts to create meaningful, good-paying jobs; advance social justice and racial equity; and be good stewards of the environment.
Cole will also lead efforts to strengthen neighborhoods and manage community relationships across DTE’s service territory.
“Rodney is a proven leader who is respected not only within our company, but among government officials and in communities across Michigan,” said Lynette Dowler, vice president public affairs, DTE Energy, and president, DTE Foundation. “His experience – and passion for – advocating for policies that benefit our customers and communities position him to make an immediate positive impact on the people we serve, and to further empower our company and foundation to advance our efforts to drive healing, recovery and progress statewide – and beyond.”
Cole’s appointment follows Lynette Dowler’s promotion to vice president, public affairs, and president, DTE Foundation, last year.
During his 14-year career at DTE, Cole has led business units across the organization. He most recently served as the director of state government affairs. In this role, he spearheaded state legislative activities and worked closely with state legislators and the governor’s administration to meet the needs of DTE’s customers and other stakeholders.
“At DTE, our aspiration is to be a force for good in the communities where our 10,000-plus employees live and serve,” said Cole. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to play a role in continuing to drive our organization forward on its path toward achieving this aspiration, and to leverage the skills, insights and relationships I’ve developed during my 14 years with the company to create positive, meaningful change, and a healthier, more vital Michigan.”
Cole earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University. He joined DTE Energy in 2006 as a member of the company’s human resources team and advanced to a leadership role.
He then joined the company’s corporate and government affairs team in 2012, managing DTE’s relationship with the city of Detroit, then leading DTE’s relationship with Wayne County until he was promoted to director, state government affairs, in 2017.
Cole serves on the Board of Directors for the American Association for Blacks in Energy (Michigan), Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan, Connect Detroit, Midnight Golf, Habitat for Humanity Michigan and the Wayne State University Press Board of Visitors. He also serves as a member of Teen Hype’s Advisory Board and Co-Chair of the Children’s Trust Fund of Michigan’s Advisory Committee. Cole is a graduate of Leadership Detroit Class XXXV and the 2018 cohort of Harvard University’s Young American Leaders Program (YALP).