Richard “Rich” Cooper is a principal with Catalyst Partners, offering client advice and strategic planning support on matters relating to emergency preparedness and business continuity leadership, public-private partnerships, homeland security policies and programs as well as science and technology development and deployment. He also serves as the Vice President for Emerging Issues & Research for the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation where he leads its think tank operations exploring the topics that will impact the future of business.
From 2009-2011, he served as Chairman of the Homeland Security Division of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) and as its Vice Chairman from 2007-2009. Mr. Cooper also previously served as a member of the American National Standards Institute’s Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP); and as an Advisor to the Reform Institute and New York University’s International Center for Enterprise Preparedness (InterCEP). He has been featured on Fox News, C-Span, Congressional Quarterly, Government Executive and other media outlets. He posts regular commentaries / ‘Blogs’ on a variety of homeland security issues at Adfero’s Security Debrief and to Defense Media Network.
From 2003-2006, Mr. Cooper served as Business Liaison Director for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Private Sector Office (PSO), where he took an active leadership role in the formation of Department policies and programs for private sector preparedness and business continuity efforts. While at DHS he worked 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. Mr. Cooper also served as the PSO’s primary liaison with the Science & Technology and Preparedness Directorates, leading efforts to establish relationships with the private sector in key homeland security areas.
Before joining DHS, Mr. Cooper served as a Senior Policy Advisor at NASA Headquarters working as the Special Assistant to the NASA Administrator and Chief of Staff/White House Liaison. His other positions included serving as the Program Architect for NASA’s Educator Astronaut Program, the first new position in the astronaut corps in more than 25 years; and strategic communications and editorial response for the Space 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 other outlets.
Mr. Cooper previously served as the President of Global Initiatives, Inc. (GII), a Virginia based small business that provided consulting services to both the private and public sectors in the high tech and aerospace communities. He possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Religion from Mary Washington College (now the University of Mary Washington) in Fredericksburg, VA and is currently working towards a Masters in Public and International Affairs (National Security) at Virginia Tech. Mr. Cooper also holds a Certificate from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and a Certificate in Counter-Terrorism Studies from the University of Southern California’s National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE).