Past IUPsyS President, President of the Pan-African Psychology Union and Governing Board Member of the International Science Council, Cooper is a fellow of the South African (SA), Indian, British and Irish psychological societies.
A close associate of the late Steve Biko, he played a leadership role in the anti-apartheid struggle from the late 1960s as well as the advent of democracy in SA from the early 1990s. Banned and house-arrested in his early 20s and jailed for 9 years - spending 5 in the same Robben Island cell-block as Nelson Mandela – he was declared a ‘victim of gross human rights violations’ by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which Archbishop Desmond Tutu chaired. The recipient of many national and international citations and awards, he was the first black chair of the regulatory Professional Board for Psychology at the Health Professions Council of SA, and was the latter’s first non-medical/dental Vice President. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Durban-Westville, and holds professorial appointments at the Universities of Pretoria and Johannesburg.