Rich Cooper

Rich Cooper blogs primarily on emergency preparedness and response, management issues related to the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector’s role in homeland security.

Cooper is the former Business Liaison Director for the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Private Sector Office (PSO), where he built relationships and networks with private sector companies and organizations to ensure that open channels of communication and engagement were created to aid critical areas and programs. Mr. Cooper also served as the PSO’s primary liaison with the Science & Technology and Preparedness Directorates.

During his time at DHS, Mr. Cooper also took an active leadership role in the formation of Department policies, strategies, communications and programs for private sector preparedness and business continuity/recovery working closely with Hurricane Katrina & Rita Relief efforts, the 9/11 Commission, the Ready – Business campaigns and other organizations and efforts committed to ensuring the security and viability of the private sector. He has also led Department efforts to establish a formal relationship with NASA to share research and testing in key homeland security areas; with the US Department of Labor to forge the next generation of homeland security workforce; and a comprehensive study investigating a venture capital approach to enhance the development, deployment and transfer of homeland security technologies.

Before joining DHS, Cooper served as a Senior Policy Advisor at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. working as the Special Assistant to the NASA Administrator and Chief of Staff/White House Liaison. His other positions included his assignment as the Program Architect for NASA’s Educator Astronaut Program responsible for the design, operation and implementation of the first new position in the astronaut corps in more than 25 years; and strategic communications and editorial response for the Shuttle Columbia accident where his works were published/presented in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Orleans Times Picayune, NASA Television and others.

Cooper formerly served as vice president of U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s nonprofit, public policy think tank. In this role, he led Foundation in examining the issues that will impact the United States and its private sector over the next 2 to 10 years. He led a diverse team of fellows, researchers, and program managers who presented programming, publications, and events to better inform and best prepare the Chamber’s leaders, members, and stakeholders for the future.

Cooper is a Principal with Catalyst Partners, a consulting and strategic planning practice in Washington, D.C., with a focus on homeland and national security matters. In this role, Cooper focuses on areas of strategic planning and partnerships; emergency preparedness planning and response; business continuity leadership and stakeholder development; and science and technology development and deployment.

Cooper also formerly served as the Chairman of the Homeland Security Division of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA); is a member of the American National Standards Institute’s Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP); and is an Advisor to New York University’s International Center for Enterprise Preparedness (InterCEP).

A Cancer on the Country – The Charlottesville Attack and the Scourge of White Nationalism

White nationalists who rallied in Charlottesville, Va., are guaranteed the right to free speech and assembly, but the U.S. Constitution also guarantees our right to take note of the extremists who participated in the rally. And to never forget them either. They are a cancer on America.

Who Will be Homeland Security Secretary After John Kelly?

With John Kelly’s move to the White House to become President Trump’s new Chief of Staff, the “name game” of prospective candidates is underway.

The Short but Effective Tenure of DHS Sec. John Kelly

In one of the most turbulent weeks in any presidential administration, Friday’s stunning announcement that DHS Secretary John Kelly would be the new White House Chief of Staff caught an already shell-shocked weary Washington by surprise.

Evolving Threats Mean Revamping Screening and Security

TSA’s new rule for scanning electronics larger than a cell phone during airport screening is sure to raise the public’s ire, but there is a lot to be said and to applaud about how TSA is rolling out its new electronics and security screening process.

National Security and the New Space Race

We are in a new space race, and the results will impact national security and economic opportunity for decades to come.

TSA Admin Nominee Pekoske Continues Semper Paratus Tradition

The nomination of USCG Vice Commandant David P. Pekoske to be the next TSA Administrator continues a distinguished tradition of tapping the top ranks of the Coast Guard to lead DHS’ toughest assignments.

U.S. Private Sector Will Lead on Climate Change Post Paris Agreement

President Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate treaty will put more attention on, and give more influence to, the most dynamic of American powers on the climate change issue: the private sector.

Manchester Attack – Venue Security Worked…Until It Didn’t

The terrorist attack in Manchester is a reminder that even as venue owners and operators tighten event security, there remain soft targets immediately outside the security perimeter.

The Kelly Doctrine – “I’ve Got Your Back”

In his first set of public remarks since becoming the nation’s fifth Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly declared a message loud and clear to the DHS workforce: “I’ve got your back.”