Michael D. Cooper

Managing Director, The Ploughshare Group & Chair, United Nations Committee of the New York City Bar Association

<p>Engaged in the human rights and humanitarian relief field for more than two decades, Michael Cooper spent six years with Mercy Corps, a global leader in emergency response and sustainable development. Michael began his tenure with Mercy Corps in 2003 when—as Director of Humanitarian Programs—he helped to launch and lead the agency’s $38 million USAID/OFDA relief effort in war-torn Iraq. Later, as Director-at-Large, Michael partnered with world-renowned designer Edwin Schlossberg to conceive and build Mercy Corps’ Action Center to End World Hunger near ground zero in Manhattan, with a permanent home for the Action Center later established in Portland, Oregon. A licensed attorney, Mr. Cooper has worked for several other leading international agencies as well, including Médecins du Monde, the International Rescue Committee, and Human Rights Watch.</p> <p></p> <p>Michael is Managing Director of The Ploughshare Group, LLC. He has raised tens of millions of dollars for human rights and humanitarian causes—from individuals, corporations, foundations, international organizations, and governments. In New York, he directed the Human Rights Watch Council, launched the Human Rights Watch Young Advocates, and served on HRW’s international advocacy team. He worked in the first Obama Administration as Special Assistant in the Office of the Solicitor at the U.S. Department of Labor where he advised senior department officials on legal issues related to terrorism and the protection of federal facilities. On behalf of the Center for Global Development, Michael published a comprehensive MacArthur Foundation-funded study of the European legal regime governing persons displaced by natural disaster. With a German publisher, he is expanding this paper for publication as an academic book.</p> <p></p> <p>Michael’s work has been featured by the New York Times, Daily News, Huffington Post, PBS, A.P., and others. He currently serves as a Director with the Friends of the World Federation of U.N. Associations. Mr. Cooper represents the New York City Bar Association at the United Nations and at City Bar serves as Chair of U.N. Committee, Chair of the Subcommittee on Right to Counsel and Due Process for Migrants, and a member of the Climate Change Task Force. Active in the Democratic Party, Michael has worked the Kerry, Obama, and Clinton Campaigns.</p> <p></p> <p>Michael studied in Norway at the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) and has a Masters in Global Policy and Conflict Resolution from New York University. He is a Public Interest Law Scholar at Georgetown University Law Center, from which he received his J.D. along with a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies. Mr. Cooper is admitted to practice in the State of New York and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.</p>

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