Defense Media Network

Rich Cooper

Richard “Rich” Cooper is a Principal with Catalyst Partners, LLC, a government and public affairs practice in Washington, DC, that focuses on homeland and national security matters. In this role, Cooper offers client advice and strategic planning support on emergency preparedness and business continuity leadership, public-private partnerships, homeland security policies and programs, and science and technology development and deployment.

He also serves as Chairman of the Homeland Security Division of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA); as a member of the American National Standards Institute’s Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP); and as an Advisor to New York University’s International Center for Enterprise Preparedness (InterCEP). He has been featured on Fox News, C-Span, TIME Magazine, Congressional Quarterly (CQ), Government Executive and numerous other media outlets. He posts regular commentaries on a variety of homeland security issues at Security Debrief.

From 2003 to 2006, he 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 and 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, 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 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 holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Religion from Mary Washington College (now the University of Mary Washington) in Fredericksburg, VA and is 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, as well as a Certificate in Counter-Terrorism Studies from the University of Southern California’s National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE).

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