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).

Wanted: A Better Homeland Security Budget

The Administration’s proposed budget cuts to several agencies threaten progress and would make the country less safe.

FEMA’s Future – Save the Grants, Partnerships and Children

The congressional hearing on the “Future of FEMA” praised the agency and noted priorities for emergency management and response going forward.

Areas for Private Sector Leadership in Homeland Security

With new leadership taking over DHS, there are areas for renewed private sector leadership and action in the homeland security arena.

Gen. Kelly’s ‘Love Fest’ Senate Confirmation Hearing

The next Homeland Security Secretary gave a powerful performance before the U.S. Senate, which is good news for the homeland.

The Strongest Force in Homeland Security – The Private Sector

There are more than 30 million actors outside of the Department of Homeland Security who will be critical to the success of incoming DHS Secretary Gen. John Kelly.

Reforming the Stafford Act

With a new administration and Congress, it’s time to take a look at how America plans for emergencies.

The Critical Infrastructure of Space

Today, we are in the midst of a new space race with dozens of nations competing for the higher ground – in orbit.

Great Infrastructure Takes a National Infrastructure Bank

When it comes to generating economic growth and jobs, infrastructure investment tops the list of the next president’s to-do list.

The Rewards of Veteran Entrepreneur Service

After military service, many veterans continue to serve the public in another way: entrepreneurship.