Defense Security Cooperation Agency: Who Is Charles Hooper?

Monday, March 19, 2018
Charles Hooper

Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper has been the director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) since August 2017.  Located in the Department of Defense, DSCA works to provide financing, resources, and/or contractors to encourage the sale of arms, weapons technologies, training, and other lethal services offered by U.S. weapons makers to foreign governments. Hooper, who was simultaneously promoted to lieutenant general, succeeded Vice Admiral Joseph Rixey, who had led DSCA since September 2013.


Born circa 1957 in Willingboro, New Jersey, to Charles Wayne Hooper, Sr., and Erma Hooper, Charles W. Hooper, Jr., graduated John F. Kennedy High School in 1975. Years later, he told reporter Rose Krebs that his home town “was a great place to grow up [with] a lot of people who were patriotic, who believed in public service and service to their country.” He earned a B.S. in National Security Policy Studies in 1979 at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was a varsity athlete and class secretary.  


Commissioned in 1979 as an infantry officer, Hooper served in command and staff assignments in the U.S. Army Armor Center, the 25th Infantry Division, the 82nd Airborne Division, and the U.S. Army Recruiting Command.


Hooper shifted from the infantry to being a foreign area officer (FAO), which required additional education. He earned an Associate’s degree in Chinese Language and Literature at the Defense Language Institute in 1987, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in National Security at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in 1989, a certificate in Chinese Language and Literature at the British Ministry of Defense Chinese Language School in Hong Kong in 1990, and a certificate in Foreign Affairs and Military planning at the US Army Command and General Staff College in 1992. 


He has also earned an M.S. in General Military Strategic Studies at the U.S. Army War College in 2002, and a certificate in National Security Policy Studies at the Harvard University Weatherhead Center for International Affairs in 2006.


His early FAO assignments included service as assistant army attaché to the People's Republic of China at the U.S. Embassy Beijing, China; deputy division chief at the War Plans Division of the Army Staff; chief of the Army International Affairs Division; and as an instructor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. 


From 2001 to 2003, Hooper served as senior country director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he focused on U.S. military relationships with those countries.


From 2003 to 2005, Hooper served as chief of U.S. Army International Affairs at the Pentagon, again focusing on the U.S. Army’s relationships with the armies of foreign nations.


From June 2007 to June 2009, Hooper served as senior defense attaché at the U.S. embassy in Beijing, China. He was also promoted to brigadier general at the beginning of this assignment.


From July 2009 to June 2011, Hooper was deputy director of strategy at U.S. Pacific Command in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he conducted security cooperation, defense policy formulation, and military strategic planning for the Asia-Pacific region.


From August 2011 to March 2014, Hooper served as director of strategy, plans and programs at US Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, where he supervised a staff of 270 with a budget of $500 million. He was promoted to major general at the beginning of this assignment.


Finally, from July 2014 to July 2017, he served as senior defense attaché at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt.


Hooper, who speaks Mandarin Chinese, is married to Tanya R. Hooper.

-Matt Bewig


To Learn More:

Official Bio (U.S. Army)

LinkedIn Profile

Two-Star Army General from Willingboro has Enjoyed Long Military Career (by Rose Krebs, Burlington County Times)

Army Lt. Gen. Hooper Named DSCA Head (by Aaron Mehta, Defense News)


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