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Steve Cooper


Active in Government IT Community


Chief Information Officer - Department of Commerce

Steve Cooper is the chief information officer at the Commerce Department.

Before his current post, Cooper was the Acting Assistant Administrator for Information Services and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). He is the agency's Deputy CIO.

Previously, Mr. Cooper was the Director, Information Technology (IT) and CIO of the FAA's Air Traffic Organization (ATO). With his IT Leadership Team, he guided the planning, risk management, information delivery, solution delivery, and operations activities of the IT organization supporting the 50,000 employees and contractors of the ATO and FAA.

In previous public sector roles, Mr. Cooper served as the senior vice president and CIO of the American Red Cross. In this role, he and his IT teams implemented the introduction of a first ever national call center to provide emergency assistance to the more than 4 million people displaced from their homes during Hurricane Katrina; provided the IT systems delivering more than half the nation's blood supply; and provided IT solutions supporting more than 100 million Americans receiving Red Cross services across America.

In February 2003, he was appointed by President George W. Bush as the first CIO of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He and his IT colleagues accomplishments include the implementation of a Homeland Secure Data Network to enable the exchange of classified homeland security information among federal civilian agencies and the Department of Defense; in partnership with 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; developed the department's first IT Strategic Plan; and made possible the 'day one' IT operations of DHS.

Earlier Mr. Cooper was appointed Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and 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 enabled several solutions for the sharing of homeland security information within the federal government and 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 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.

Prior to his federal government service, Mr. Cooper spent more than twenty years in the private sector with Eli Lilly and Corning, Inc., 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, grandfather of a granddaughter, and the brother of four sisters, remains the toughest challenge he's ever had.

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