Dr. Steven Cohen is the Executive Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is the Director of the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and the Director of the Masters of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies. Cohen is also the Director of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management. He served for over a decade as Associate Dean of Faculty and then Vice Dean of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.
He is a 1970 graduate of James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York. Cohen received his B.A. in Political Science from Franklin College of Indiana (1974), and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the State University of New York in Buffalo (1977; 1979). In 1976-77, Cohen was a Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Environmental Policy; in 1978-79, he was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in Public and Environmental Policy and Implementation.
Dr. Cohen served as a policy analyst in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1977 through 1978 and 1980-81, and as consultant to the agency from 1981 through 1991, from 1994 to 1996 and from 2005 to 2010. From 1979-1980 he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at West Virginia University and from1981-1987 he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. From 1990-94, Cohen served on the Board of the Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs; he has also served on the Executive Committee and Committee on Accreditation and Peer Review of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. From 2001 to 2004, he served on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Homes for the Homeless, the Board of Directors of the Willdan Group, Inc., and the Board of Directors of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment. Dr. Cohen also sits on judging committee for the Yidan Prize Foundation.
Dr. Cohen is the co-author of Sustainability Policy: Hastening the Transition to a Cleaner Economy (2015), The Responsible Contact Manager (2008), Strategic Planning in Environmental Regulation (2005), Tools for Innovators: Creative Strategies for Managing Public Sector Organizations (1998), Total Quality Management in Government (1993), and the author of Understanding Environmental Policy (2006, 2014), Sustainability Management (2011), and The Effective Public Manager (1988, now co-authored in its fifth edition). He has written numerous articles on public management, sustainability management, and environmental policy. Dr. Cohen also is a weekly contributor to The Huffington Post.
He has taught courses in public management, policy analysis, environmental policy, management innovation, and sustainability management. In 1982, Cohen developed, and until 2001, directed Columbia’s Workshops in Applied Public Management and Applied Policy Analysis; bringing practical professional education into the center of Columbia’s Public Administration curriculum. He has conducted professional training seminars in total quality management, strategic planning, project management and management innovation.
Cohen was born in Orange, New Jersey, raised in Brooklyn, New York and now resides in New York City. He and his wife, Donna Fishman, have two wonderful daughters, Gabriella and Ariel.