David A. Cooper, Ph.D.
Professor & Chair
National Security Affairs
Dr. David A. Cooper joined the faculty of the U.S. Naval War College in July 2010 as Chair of the Department of National Security Affairs. His areas of scholarly and professional expertise include nonproliferation, disarmament, weapons of mass destruction, multilateral negotiations and organizations, international relations, and foreign policy analysis.
He served for nearly two decades on the professional staff within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) where he was a career member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) of the United States. His last SES assignment was with the then fledgling U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), where he established and led a joint directorate (J-9) responsible for partnership and strategic communication. Prior to that he served as the Principal Director for Homeland Security Integration, managing strategic planning and coordination of the Defense Department’s various homeland security missions. Before that he served as the Director of the Office of Nonproliferation Policy, overseeing efforts to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction. In this capacity he also led the U.S. Delegation to the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Operational Experts Group and served as the U.S. Representative to the second United Nations Panel of Governmental Experts on Missiles. Previously he was the Director of the Office of Strategic Arms Control Policy, managing the negotiation and implementation of the "Moscow Treaty" on Strategic Offensive Reductions and various other bilateral and multilateral nuclear treaties. He first came to the Pentagon in 1990 as a Presidential Management Fellow.
He has a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from The Australian National University, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University, and is a graduate of Oberlin College. He is the author of a book and various articles including most recently in the journals Foreign Policy Analysis and The Nonproliferation Review. He is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and a number of other scholarly and professional organizations. He has held previous academic appointments as Senior Research Fellow at the National Defense University, Adjunct Professor of U.S. Foreign Policy at American University, and Adjunct Associate Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University.
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