Former CIO American Red Cross, and Department of Homeland Security
Steven I. Cooper is a founding partner of Strativest, a firm focused on identifying emerging technologies applicable to homeland security and emergency response and preparedness, assisting in the development of ‘go-to-market’ actions, and in providing management advisory services for business development and the strategic use of information technology for competitive advantage.
From May 2005 to July 2007, he was senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) of the American Red Cross. Mr. Cooper was responsible for the information technology (IT) assets of the Red Cross and leveraging them to support the humanitarian organization’s 35,000 employees and the 300 million Americans they serve. He guided the introduction of a call center during Hurricane Katrina to provide emergency assistance to the more than 4 Million people displaced from their homes.
Prior to joining the Red Cross, Mr. Cooper was active in the federal government. In February 2003, he was appointed by President George W. Bush as the first CIO of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). His accomplishments include the implementation of a Homeland Secure Data Network to enable the exchange of classified homeland security information among federal civilian agencies and with the Department of Defense; and, in partnership, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the deployment of a Homeland Security Information Network to share sensitive information with state and local agencies; first responders, and private sector entities who own critical infrastructure; and in standing up the ‘day one’ IT operations of DHS.
Earlier, in March 2002, Mr. Cooper was appointed Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and also served as senior director for information integration in the White House Office of Homeland Security. In this role, he initiated the integration of the terrorist watch lists, and launched the development of the National Enterprise Architecture for Homeland Security to address information integration within the federal government and the sharing of homeland security information with state, local, and relevant private-sector entities.
Mr. Cooper was named one of the Top 100 CIOs in America by CIO Insight in 2007. He previously was honored by Government Computer News as the Government Civilian Executive of the Year; by the Northern Virginia Technology Council as a Titan of Technology; 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.
Mr. Cooper has remained active in his support of the NGO and Not-for-profit sector. Continuing work he did with the Department of Homeland Security in public safety interoperability through his current role as a Board Member of ComCARE, he is currently participating in the ComCARE Alliance’s Core Services Initiative to provide a nationwide Enterprise Provider Access Directory and Identity Management services for all members of the emergency response community.
As a Board Member of NetHope, he is working to extend Information and Communication Technology capability, infrastructure, and innovation across the globe on behalf of NetHope’s members to ‘wire the global village’.
Prior to his federal government service, Mr. Cooper spent more than twenty years in the private sector as an IT professional and holds a BA degree from Ohio Wesleyan University. He is a former Naval Air Reserve petty officer who served during the Vietnam conflict. He is married and states that being the father of four daughters, and the brother of four sisters, remains the toughest job he’s ever had.