Cooper says thanks for the journey

Milt Cooper brandishes a copy of his first GCN interview, from 1992.

Two decades after Milton E. Cooper came to the nation's capital, federal IT applications and policies are different'but better, he said.

Cooper, who stepped down as federal-sector president of Computer Sciences Corp. in February 2001, was honored last month as Post Newsweek Tech Media's industry executive of the past 20 years. He also received an industry executive award in 1999.

Cooper noted the 'strange coincidence' that GCN began publication just after he and his family moved to the Washington area in 1982. He was then president and general manager of the Raytheon Co. Data Systems Group's Southeast field operations.

'I, like many of you, have used GCN as a bible,' going to the office early to get a jump on reading the publication, Cooper said.

In his first GCN interview, conducted after taking the helm of CSC's federal sector operations in January 1992, Cooper spoke of the government's need for best-value procurement with a mix of technical and cost considerations. The best-value concept was a hot issue in federal procurement a decade ago but it is business as usual now, he said.

Cooper said he hoped he could come back in 20 years and hear 'how you, and the people who follow you, have continued this great journey to the most effective government we can get through technology.'

Cooper graduated in 1960 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served three years with the 82nd Airborne Division. 'He would have been successful no matter where he went,' said retired Lt. Gen. Emmett Paige Jr., another honoree.

Over the past decade, integrated systems also have gone from being a hot issue to common practice, Cooper said. 'Now everyone is well aware of standards and interoperability,' he said.

Cooper and his wife, Ann, retired to Palm Coast, Fla. They have three children and seven grandchildren.

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