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Steve Cooper

Advisory Board Member

Steven I. Cooper was appointed Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the U.S. Department of Commerce by Secretary Penny Pritzker on June 16, 2014. As CIO, Cooper serves as the principal adviser to Commerce’s 12 agencies’ CIOs and the Deputy Secretary. He also leads development and implementation of the Department’s enterprise-wide information technology (IT) strategy and operations, oversees the building and operation of a robust enterprise IT security risk program, and serves as an adviser on mission and business IT systems and services.

Prior to joining Commerce, Cooper served as the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Acting Assistant Administrator for Information Services and CIO. Previously, Cooper was the Deputy CIO, as well as IT Director and CIO of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, where he oversaw a team of 400 professionals working to ensure the operational excellence of mission support and business systems and the underlying technology infrastructure. In February 2003, Cooper was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the first CIO of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where, among other accomplishments, he developed the Department’s first IT Strategic Plan.

Prior to joining DHS, Cooper was appointed Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and served as Senior Director for Information Integration in the White House Office of Homeland Security. In this role, he launched the development of the National Enterprise Architecture for Homeland Security to address information integration within the federal government and the sharing of information with state, local, and relevant private-sector entities. Cooper also has more than 20 years of private sector experience, including working as Senior Vice President and CIO of the American Red Cross, where, most notably, he helped start the first-ever National Call Center to provide emergency financial assistance during Hurricane Katrina. Cooper was also a founding partner of Strativest, a firm focused on identifying emerging technologies applicable to homeland security, emergency response and preparedness, served as President of Fortified Holdings, and worked as CIO for Corporate Staffs at Corning, Inc. Previously, he also served in senior management roles with Eli Lilly Inc., Computer Sciences Corporation, MAXIMA, Inc., and CACI, Inc.

In 2007, Cooper was named one of the Top 100 CIO’s in America by CIO Insight. He was also named Government Civilian Executive of the Year by Government Computer News in 2003; a Titan of Technology by the Northern Virginia Technology Council; was a recipient of the Fed 100 Award recognizing the 100 Most Influential People in Federal Government Technology; and was named by the Washington Post as one of the Five to Watch while serving in the White House. Cooper has served as a board member and officer of several nonprofits and humanitarian organizations working to more effectively help people and emergency responders prepare for and respond to natural disasters.

Cooper received a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University, and was honorably discharged as a Naval Air Reserve petty officer following service during the Vietnam War. 

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