This story was originally published at 5:56 p.m. EDT May 12, 2016.
He will advise the Air Force secretary and chief of staff on public affairs matters, develop communication strategies to advance the cause of the Air Force, and guide a worldwide public affairs staff of 5,500 active duty, Guard and Reserve airmen and civilians.
Thomas was promoted from colonel on May 12, according to his Air Force biography.
Cook served as director of public affairs for about two years.
Both Thomas and Cook will move into their new roles on June 13, she said.
The service's public affairs office took heat last month after a survey published in Foreign Policy magazine ranked the Air Force last for response time and professionalism when dealing with the press.
"Obviously we took note of the information," Cook said in a statement to Air Force Times. "We're always open to feedback and, as such, we've been speaking with reporters in the Pentagon Press Corps to better understand their concerns and to determine what we can do better to meet their needs. We also spoke with our sister service counterparts. We're in the process of implementing some of the suggestions that included reviewing different technology to push video and updating our websites with clearer contact information.
"Bottom line, we're committed to fostering transparency and trust, and we'll continue to benchmark ways to improve our communication capabilities to share the Air Force story," Cook said.
Oriana Pawlyk covers deployments, cyber, Guard/Reserve, uniforms, physical training, crime and operations in the Middle East and Europe for Air Force Times. She was the Early Bird Brief editor in 2015. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.