Laura K. Cooper

Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs

Laura Cooper is currently Performing the Duties of Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. Ms. Cooper is also the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia and a career member of the Senior Executive Service. She has responsibility for policy concerning Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, and Moldova), and Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) as well as Conventional Arms Control.

Ms. Cooper previously served as a Principal Director in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security Affairs, with responsibility for policies on: mission assurance, defense continuity of operations, critical infrastructure protection, homeland counterterrorism, global antiterrorism policy, and the Council of Governors.

Prior assignments in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy include: Director of the Strategy office, where she helped manage the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review; Acting Director for South Asia; and Afghanistan Team Chief, Stability Operations Office.  

Prior to joining the Department of Defense in 2001, Ms. Cooper was a policy planning officer at the State Department in the Office of Coordinator for Counterterrorism.  She has also served as a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 

Ms. Cooper has a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University, a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy degree from the Industrial College of Armed Forces at National Defense University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University.