By Rob Margetta, CQ Staff

Oct 15, 2009

For security consultant Rich Cooper, the mission of the Homeland Security Department and all of its state and local partners is inextricably linked with the network of industries that support them.

“I’m a big believer in public-private partnerships,” said Cooper, a principal at the consulting firm Catalyst Partners. “Homeland security really is a national mission. It involves all of us.  . . .  We talk about first responders — firefighters, police and others — and they certainly are first responders. But first responders are also in the private sector, and if we can come up with strategies to empower and involve the private sector in response, we will become a more resilient nation.”

Recently, Cooper has moved into a position to help foster those types of partnerships.

Last week, the National Defense Industry Association named Cooper the chairman of its Homeland Security Division. For the next two years, his job will be to keep the division on track in fostering cooperation between industry and the government’s homeland security providers.

As he settles into his new position, Cooper, who served as business liaison director for the DHS’s Private Sector Office, said the current economic climate is putting pressure on the homeland security industry, and companies face the same challenge they always have when working with the federal government: lining up their wares with what officials need.

Click to read the full interview.


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