Steven Cooper is the Acting Director of the National Weather Service (NWS) Southern Region, headquartered in Fort Worth, TX. The Southern Region encompasses approximately one quarter of the contiguous United States including Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Mr. Cooper has 33 years of experience in the NWS and most recently served as the Acting NWS Deputy Director in Silver Spring. Since 2004, he served as the Deputy Regional Director of the NWS Southern Region where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the region including all administrative, financial, personnel, and management functions.
Prior to becoming the Deputy Regional Director, Mr. Cooper served as the meteorologist-in-charge at two local National Weather Service offices in Bristol, TN, and Amarillo, TX. Cooper began his NWS career as a Meteorological Intern in Albuquerque, NM.
Mr. Cooper also led the Meteorological Services Division at NWS Southern Region in the successful implementation of NWS modernization and restructuring across the southern United States during the mid-1990s. He co-developed an innovative Southern Region leadership development program called BLAST (Building Leaders for A Solid Tomorrow).
Mr. Cooper was instrumental in launching the highly successful Turn Around, Don't Drown® flood safety program, earning him and his team a NOAA Administrator's Award in 2004 and a National Weather Association Public Education Award in 2006. He was also one of the principle developers of JetStream - a web-based educational program designed to help people learn about various weather phenomena and how to be prepared when hazardous weather threatens.
Mr. Cooper has worked with the Weather-Ready Nation Roadmap and pilot projects, Deepwater Horizon response, and the NOAA Operations Center.
Mr. Cooper received a bachelor's degree in Meteorology from Florida State University (1980) and a master's degree in Geography (Climatology) from the University of New Mexico (1985).
Mr. Cooper is a member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association. He has received many awards for his contributions and leadership.