Ambassador Henry Franklyn Cooper, PhD, is a former senior government and private sector executive for national security affairs. Since 1993, he has been a private consultant and chairman of High Frontier and served first as chairman and now chairman emeritus of Applied Research Associates, a successful High Technology company. He has served on numerous senior advisory groups, including on Defense Science Board and Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Task Forces, U.S. Strategic Command’s Senior Advisory Group, the Defense Nuclear Agency’s Scientific Advisory Group on Effects and on a Congressional Commission to assess U.S. programs to counter Weapons of Mass Destruction. Since 1993, he served intermittently as a Heritage Foundation Visiting Fellow, senior associate of the National Institute for Public Policy, and adjunct professor at Southwest Missouri State University.
Dr. Cooper was President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador and chief negotiator at the Geneva Defense and Space Talks with the Soviet Union, successfully defended his Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars”) and became its director under President George H.W. Bush. Most of today’s U.S. missile defense systems began on his watch. Previously, he served as assistant director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and as deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for strategic and space systems. Previously, he was an Air Force reserve captain and after joining R&D Associates became deputy director of its nuclear effects division. He began his engineering career with Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1960.
To prepare for his career, Dr. Cooper pursued formal education at Clemson University, where he received a Bachelor of Science, with high honors, and Master of Science in mechanical engineering in 1958 and 1960, respectively. Thereafter, he received a Doctor of Philosophy in mechanical engineering from New York University in 1964, while employed by Bell Laboratories. During his career, he contributed a myriad of professional articles, technical reports and other publications.
Married for 60 years to the former Barbara Frances Kays, they have three children, eight grandchildren and a great-grandson. Dr. Cooper was born on November 8, 1936 in Augusta, GA, and currently resides on the North Augusta, SC, farm where he grew up. His parents, teachers and coaches in his early school years taught him teamwork, discipline and a sense of diligence from which he learned to respond to uncertainties with an inquisitive nature, while forming strong opinions and advocating tirelessly for his beliefs. He advises prospective government officials to take risks and challenge themselves in finding their own niches. A committed Christian, Dr. Cooper emphasizes the importance of setting high goals and modifying efforts to achieve them as opportunities arise. Looking toward the future, he intends to continue providing consulting services in the realm of national security.
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