He is the former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party and served as a member of the Presidential Electoral College in 1988. In 1990, Van Hipp was sworn in as deputy assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army and served in this position during 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.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Hipp speaks 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. Hipp has appeared on Newsmax TV, Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and other networks as an expert commentator on the War on Terror, defense and national security issues. He has also recently authored a book, entitled “The New Terrorism: How to Fight It and Defeat It,” 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).
Hipp received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Wofford College and is the 2014 recipient of Wofford’s Distinguished Service Award. He received his juris doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. 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 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, Tenn., and they have three children: Trey, Sarah Camille, and Jackson. Van and his family split their time between Alexandria, Va., and Georgetown, S.C.