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Pensacola International Airport executive and former Naval Air Station Whiting Field commander Matt Coughlin has been selected as Escambia County’s new assistant county administrator.

Former NAS Whiting Field CO Matt Coughlin. (U.S. Navy/Special to The Pulse)

Over 250 applications for the assistant county administrator position were received, and 10 candidates were shortlisted and interviewed. Coughlin was the unanimous choice of the selection committee which included County Administrator Jack Brown, former Assistant County Administrator Chip Simmons, former Naval Air Station Pensacola commanding officer Keith Hoskins, and former Escambia County Public Safety Director Janice Kilgore.

As assistant county administrator, Coughlin’s duties will include oversight of departments and their strategic plans, along with development of clear performance benchmarks to meet the commission’s objectives. His first day on the job will be Monday, July 24.

“It is an honor to be selected,” Coughlin said. “I hope that my experience and enthusiasm to serve can help advance the county’s mission to enhance the quality of life for all its citizenry.”

When asked about what he brings to the position, Coughlin said he hopes one area where he will stand out is the importance he places on working together toward a common goal.

“I hope to focus on strengthening our community by reinforcing current relationships, finding common ground where no collaboration exists. Forming new partnerships is key to advocating and working successfully for the people of the county.”

Coughlin enjoyed a successful 24-year career as a Naval officer and aviator, culminating in a tour as Naval Air Station Whiting Field’s commanding officer from 2011 to 2014, where he oversaw a workforce of more than 3,000 personnel and managed an infrastructure that encompasses over 13,000 acres of property and 4,500 nautical square miles of airspace and airfields. After retiring from the Navy, Coughlin joined the city-owned Pensacola International Airport and currently serves as assistant airport director.

A native of Greenfield, Massachusetts, Coughlin holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Western New England University, a Master of Science in management from the Naval Post Graduate School and a Master of Science in national resource strategy from the National Defense University.

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