Scott Cooper is a nonresident senior fellow with the Forward Defense practice at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. His research focuses on national security, air power, defense planning, and the intersection of human rights and national security.
Cooper served for twenty years on active duty in the US Marine Corps, flying the EA-6B Prowler and serving as a forward air controller. He served five tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan, commanded an EA-6B squadron, and finished his service as the speechwriter to the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for aviation.
After his retirement from the Marine Corps, Cooper spent five years at Human Rights First as its national security outreach director, building alliances and partnerships with the military and national security communities. He founded Veterans for American Ideals, a grassroots, community-based group of veterans leveraging military voices to bridge divides and regain a shared sense of national community.
His research and commentary have appeared in many publications, including the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Policy Review, the Washington Quarterly, War on the Rocks, Defense One, USA Today, Newsweek, the Hill, and the American Interest. He has appeared on Fox News, CNN, and NPR’s Weekend Edition. He co-authored the book No Fly Zones and International Security: Politics and Strategy.
Previously, he was an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and is a life member of the think tank. He holds a BS in political science from the US Naval Academy and an MA in international relations from the University of Maryland at College Park. He lives with his wife on Capitol Hill.