Christopher McKinney is the CEO/Executive Director of the Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments (COG). McKinney facilitates the strategic vision and oversees all assistance provided to a four-county region, consisting of Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee, and Sumter Counties in South Carolina and all 12 cities/towns. Based in Sumter, McKinney has a staff consisting of 24 subject matter experts who serve a population of approximately 223,000 people and is responsible for the stewardship of a $22.1 million budget.
Originally formed as a planning district, the Santee-Lynches COG serves the region by working for and with local governments to bring public and private sector leaders together to solve emerging and persistent problems. By collaborating, communicating, and working together, Santee-Lynches COG seeks to find and create efficiencies across the region, set priorities, proactively identify challenges, and develop creative solutions that are mutually beneficial and advance the prosperity of the region. The COG is also a key organization utilized to administer federal and state grants across the region aimed at improving the quality of the workforce, regional planning to facilitating community and economic development, and facilitating our seniors aging in place with dignity. The Santee-Lynches COG is also a designated Economic Development District under the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
McKinney became the CEO/Executive Director in October 2017.
In September 2017, he retired from active duty in the United States Air Force, after over 30 years of service. Prior to retiring McKinney, served as the Command Chief Master Sergeant for the 20th Fighter Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, where he was an executive advisor to the Wing Commander and the installation’s senior enlisted leader. He was responsible for the training, professional development of 8,500+ military personnel and the morale, and welfare over 31,000 families and retirees at the nation’s largest F-16 combat fighter wing in the Combatant Air Forces. Prior to this McKinney served in numerous leadership roles and performed various functions to include Meteorological roles. His military service includes four combat tours of duty in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
A native of Texas, he has a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management (Leadership Focus), and an Associate Degree in Meteorology. He is married to Danya and they have a beautiful, blended family of six: Chanel, Jamal, Khalil, Kareem, Khloe, Christopher Jr., and four grandchildren.