Mark Cooney attended North Carolina State University on a Naval R.O.T.C. scholarship and graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.
After college, he served in the U.S. Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer from 1990-1996. He served onboard the USS Arkansas CGN-41 (Nuclear Guided Missile Cruiser) from 1990-1994 as the Missiles and Fire Control Officer. Mr. Cooney was deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Desert Storm War and Operation Southern Watch (enforcement of the UN no-fly zone in southern Iraq). His final posting was at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island as a Naval Intelligence Officer.
Mr. Cooney worked for IBM with the Global Services Division providing networking support to external customers. He was selected for the N. C. Department of Transportation Engineering Associate Training Program in 1997. He was employed by NCDOT for six years, where he oversaw major highway and bridge construction projects.
In 2003, he transferred to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, and served as a Facility Construction Engineer. Mr. Cooney became Design Services Section Chief in 2006, and was responsible for all engineering and technical services for the Commission.
Mr. Cooney became Director of Capital Projects for the Department of Cultural Resources in January 2008. Since then, he has been responsible for the completion of $210 million in capital projects for the Department, including the new expansion gallery for the North Carolina Museum of Art, which received the 2011 American Institute of Architects National Honor Award, the highest award given to American Architecture.