General Counsel, U.S. Department of Energy
Mr. Cooper spent the first decade and a half of his professional career in private practice as a transactional lawyer and litigator. He represented clients in the energy industry, among others, and covered a broad range of interests. Building on this experience, he moved to Washington, D.C., to work on Capitol Hill as Counsel for the House Energy and Commerce Committee. There, he played an integral role in drafting energy legislation, including the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 and specific provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2003.
After Mr. Cooper’s time with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he worked for the firm Hunton & Williams LLP, where he further honed his energy practice and transitioned into the role of President for the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (CLNG). At CLNG, he advocated for the development of America’s LNG capabilities before Congress, the White House, and federal agencies. After a decade with CLNG, Mr. Cooper returned to Capitol Hill, accepting a role as a Subcommittee Staff Director for the House Committee on Natural Resources, and as Senior Policy Advisor on the National Environmental Policy Act. At the House Natural Resources Committee, he maintained a focus on the development of oil, gas, coal, and minerals on federal lands and water, and tackled the Puerto Rico debt crisis as lead negotiator of the Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Security Act. Most recently, Mr. Cooper served as Senior Counsel and Director of the Washington, D.C. office with the law firm McConnell Valdés LLC.
A native of Tennessee, Mr. Cooper holds a B.A. in economics from Wabash College and a J.D. from the University of Tennessee, College of Law. He and his wife Denise reside in Maryland.