Ivey appoints former Congressman Jo Bonner as Senior Adviser

Ivey appoints former Congressman Jo Bonner as Senior Adviser

By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Gov. Kay Ivey will appoint former Congressman Jo Bonner as Senior Adviser in her administration as she prepares to begin a full term in office. According to the Governor’s Office, the appointment is effective beginning December 1.

Bonner retired from Congress in May 2013 amid his sixth term representing Alabama’s 1st District. He was a member of the House Appropriations Committee and chaired the House Ethics Committee. Prior to being elected, Bonner served as longtime Chief of Staff to his predecessor, Congressman Sonny Callahan.

He worked as Vice Chancellor for Economic Development at the University of Alabama for five years before stepping away in July 2018 to lead industrial recruitment efforts for Tuscaloosa County.

Alabama Rep. Jo Bonner, left, President Bush, and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions stand outside Air Force One after arriving in Mobile, Ala., for a fundraiser Thursday, June 21, 2007. (AP Photo/ Dan Anderson)

Ivey said Bonner’s high-level experience in government and economic development make him ideal to serve the state in this new capacity.

“Jo will bring a wealth of knowledge on a variety of topics to the office and I look forward to getting his input as we move into a full term,” she said. 

Bonner thanked his “long-time friend” for the opportunity to serve his state “once again.”

“One of my greatest passions is serving the people of Alabama and I am honored to once again have the opportunity to do so,” Bonner said.

“I appreciate Governor Ivey for asking me to serve as part of her administration and for her confidence in me. I look forward to working with my long-time friend to better Alabama for generations to come.”

Congressman Jo Bonner talks with Gov. Bob Riley at the new steel transport terminal at the Port of Mobile in 2008. Photo credit: Robin Cooper, Governor’s Office.

Bonner is is credited with playing a major role in helping land several significant economic development projects, including ThyssenKrupp and Airbus, that brought thousands of jobs to his district. As a House appropriator, Bonner also helped secure $5 billion in contracts in 2010 for Austal to build more than 20 Navy ships.

For his service in Congress, Bonner received numerous awards, including the U.S. Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award. In 2012, the Press-Register called Bonner “a champion for South Alabama.” After his retirement from Congress, the Business Council of Alabama named an award in his honor, the “Congressman Jo Bonner Spirit of Leadership Award.” 

Bonner is a graduate of the University of Alabama, where he studied journalism. He and his wife, Janée Lambert have a daughter, Lee, and a son, Robins, both in their 20s.