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, Van 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.
Since the September 11th attacks on the United States, Hipp has appeared on the Fox News Channel well over 400 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 including The O’Reilly Factor and Hannity and Colmes. In addition, he has appeared on MSNBC, including HardBall and Scarborough Country, CNN with Paula Zahn and Daybreak, the London-based Sky News Channel, and the CBS Evening News. He has also been named to 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. He is the past Chairman of the Salvation Army Board of Advisors in Alexandria, VA, and currently serves as a member of the National Capital Salvation Army Advisory Board, and as a member of the Board of Visitors of Charleston Southern University.
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 1990, Van was the recipient of Wofford College’s National Young Alumnus of the Year Award. 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 reside in Alexandria, VA.