As director for Media and Public Relations, John Cooper leads The Heritage Foundation’s media team, overseeing press outreach and engagement efforts for the organization, and working to highlight Heritage experts, content, and policy recommendations in regional, national, and international media. The Media team also works with Heritage experts on message development, coordinates media training, and develops strategic communications plans for various issues and contingencies.
Cooper has worked in communications and media relations for more than a decade, in both the public and private sector. From 2010 to 2014, he served as a public affairs officer in the Air Force, where he achieved the rank of captain. He handled press relations and communications efforts for the F-22 Raptor at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia and the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
During his time in the Air Force, Cooper planned and executed events with reporters from outlets such as The New York Times, CBS News, and The New Yorker. Upon leaving active duty, he served in the Air Force Reserve for several more years, assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.
Before joining Heritage in October 2016, Cooper was press secretary for Concerned Veterans for America, an veterans advocacy group based in Northern Virginia. While there, he focused on helping reporters highlight systemic problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs and policy solutions to ensure veterans receive the care they deserve.
Cooper’s analysis has been featured in outlets such as FoxNews.com, The Washington Free Beacon, and Military Times. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Cedarville University in Ohio and a master’s degree in American government from Regent University.
In his free time, he bikes and hikes around the area, trekking down to the Shenandoah and George Washington national forests to take in what he considers the best views in Virginia.
He currently resides in northern Virginia with his wife, Ali and son, Caleb.