Braxton Cotton was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles in November of 2013. Prior to his appointment to the Board, Mr. Cotton was the Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Transition, Support and Reentry.
Mr. Cotton began his career in law enforcement as a police officer with the Milledgeville Police Department. He then joined the Baldwin County Sheriff's Department where he served as a detective, SWAT team member, crime suppression unit member, and firearms instructor. He was named 2004 Officer of the Year. Mr. Cotton joined the Georgia Department of Public Safety and was the class president of the 84th Trooper School for the Georgia State Patrol. During his service with the State Patrol, he was assigned to the Executive Protection Unit, serving Governor Sonny Perdue and Governor Nathan Deal.
In 2012, Mr. Cotton was appointed to serve as the Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) becoming the youngest African American agency head in Georgia history. At CJCC, he oversaw tens of millions of dollars in state and federal grant funds and served as an advisor to the Governor on issues directly impacting Georgia's criminal justice system. Mr. Cotton was key in the implementation of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Reform, phases 1 and 2.
In June 2013, Governor Deal appointed Mr. Cotton as the Executive Director of the newly created Governor’s Office of Transition, Support and Reentry. Mr. Cotton established this agency with the primary mission to coordinate all state resources directed at prisoner reentry within the state of Georgia.
Mr. Cotton graduated from Georgia Military College and during his time in the U.S. Army, he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal. Mr. Cotton is a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves.