The following bio is that of an event speaker or guest author. This person is not directly affiliated with the John Locke Foundation.

Van Hipp is Chairman of American Defense International, Inc. (ADI), a Washington, DC based consulting firm specializing in government affairs, business development and public relations. From 1986 to 1989, Hipp served as the Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party. In 1988, Hipp served as a member of the Presidential Electoral College, and as a speaker at the Republican National Convention, he introduced former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. In 1990, Van Hipp was sworn in as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Reserve Forces and Mobilization). In this capacity, he served as the Army Secretariat’s “point man” for the successful mobilization, and then demobilization, of the Army’s reserve forces for Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

Following the “Tailhook Scandal,” Hipp was named by Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney to be the Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Navy. As the Navy’s number two lawyer, Hipp’s responsibilities involved all aspects of legal interest to the Navy, including government contracts, ethics, environmental and counter-narcotics law.  Hipp served in this capacity until January 1993.

Hipp is a veteran of the U.S. Army and served on active duty in both Operation Desert Storm and Operation Restore Democracy. He continues to speak on defense issues at public forums across the country, and his articles on defense and international policy have been widely read in the national print media. His book, The New Terrorism: How to Fight It and Defeat It, was published in February 2015. One hundred percent of all proceeds go to scholarships for the children of fallen Guardsmen and is being administered by the National Guard Educational Foundation (NGEF).

Since the September 11th attacks on the United States, Hipp has appeared on the Fox News Channel well over 500 times as an expert commentator on the War on Terror and has been a guest on virtually all of the network’s major news programming. In addition, he has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the London-based Sky News Channel, Newsmax TV, and the CBS Evening News.

He formerly served on the President’s Council of the National Safe Skies Alliance. In 2002, Hipp was named by then Governor Jim Hodges (D-SC) as South Carolina Ambassador for Economic Development. In 2011, Hipp was instrumental in organizing the Commander-in-Chief Debate at Wofford College, the first foreign policy and national security Republican presidential debate, which was sponsored by CBS News and National Journal. He is the past Chairman of the Salvation Army Board of Advisors in Alexandria, VA, and currently serves as a member of the Board of Visitors of Charleston Southern University.

In addition, Van Hipp was the recipient of the Salvation Army National Capital Area Command’s 2015 “Compassionate Citizen Award.” On November 3rd, of 2016 he presented a lecture entitled “The Greatest Challenge Of Our Next President: Keeping America Safe During These Times” at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, MI. He also served as moderator for two Presidential National Security Town Halls with President Donald J. Trump during the 2016 presidential election cycle.

Hipp received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Wofford College, and is a past President of the National Alumni Association. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. In 2014, Hipp was the recipient of Wofford College’s Distinguished Service Award. In the fall, Van is the Sideline Reporter for Wofford College Football, which plays in the Southern Conference (SOCON) of the NCAA FCS.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Conservative Union and The National Capitol Board of The Salvation Army. He is also on the board of the Palmetto Promise Institute and is a member of the Committee on the Present Danger.

Van Hipp is married to the former Jane Grote of Nashville, Tennessee, and they have three children: Trey, Sarah Camille, and Jackson. Van and his family split their time between Alexandria, VA and Georgetown, SC.