February 29, 2024
Staff Accomplishment

Cooper Selected for Leadership Institute Cohort

Cooper recognized as Black professional with promising career in international affairs

Adom Cooper

Adom Cooper, international compliance analyst at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was selected for the inaugural cohort of the Black Professionals in International Affairs at the Colin Powell Leadership Institute.

(Photo courtesy of Adom Cooper)

Adom M. Cooper was selected for the inaugural cohort of the Black Professionals in International Affairs (BPIA) at the Colin Powell Leadership Institute (CPLI). This Institute aims to prepare mid-career professionals for the senior ranks.

Selected for his extensive experience in national security and international affairs; Cooper continually demonstrates excellence. Since graduating from Syracuse University College of Law in 2012, Cooper has worked for the United Nations Population Fund, the American Society of International Law, the U.S. Department of State, and now at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He has extensive global travel experience, including studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. He has published in various platforms such as USA Today and Just Security, and published a children’s cybersecurity book called RhinoRAM in December 2023.

“It is surreal to think back to 2012 when I was fresh out of law school and see where I am now 12 years later. I’ve had some amazing professional experiences and on the personal side, I completed a lifelong goal to walk on every continent,” said Cooper.

“There has definitely been a ‘you’re not supposed to be here vibe’ for most of my career given my background and being the only person who looks like me in many classes and professional settings. But here I am and I’m not stopping anytime soon.”Adom Cooper

The Institute’s mission is to prepare, inspire, and empower mid-career professionals for the senior ranks through: leadership development and media training, a salon dinner series, White House and think tanks policy briefings, and amplifying and promoting engagements featuring mid-career professionals.

Cooper explained that this is a great opportunity to engage with folks who have shared life experiences and sharpen their skills together. “In national security and international affairs work, there are not many chances for folks from marginalized backgrounds to be in the same space with each other. I am often the only person who looks like me and has had shared life experiences in all my professional settings. The industry is dominated by people of European descent.”

Gaining space in leadership positions—especially in international affairs—is a challenge for many Black professionals. BPIA’s mission is to “increase the involvement of African Americans and those of African heritage in international affairs.” By engaging in groups and networking, societies, such as BPIA, who are creating opportunities to empower, individuals can achieve excellence in such positions.

Visit the BPIA website to learn more and see upcoming events.

“As someone who works remote in Washington DC, it will be a fresh addition to my monthly calendar to have the CPLI in-person events on my schedule. I know exactly when I will see my cohort members with chances to share my experiences and most importantly, learn from others.”