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Steven A Cohen (academic)

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Name  Steven Cohen

Steven A. Cohen (academic)
Born  1953 (age 61–62)Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation  Executive Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University
Spouse(s)  Donna Fishman, 2 children

Steven A. Cohen (born 1953 in Orange, New Jersey) is an American academic who has taught public management and environmental policy at Columbia University since 1981. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Columbia University's The Earth Institute and a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is also the Director of the Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy in the School of International and Public Affairs and the Director of the Master of Science in Sustainability Management in the School of Continuing Education. He served on the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (2002–2004), and currently serves on the Board of Homes for the Homeless and the Board of Directors of Willdan Energy Solutions.



Dr. Steven Cohen graduated from James Madison High School in Brooklyn, New York in 1970 and then attended Franklin College, in Franklin, Indiana where he received his B.A. in political science in 1974. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from University at Buffalo, The State University of New York in political science, with a concentration in environmental policy and public policy. From 1976-1977, Cohen was a Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Environmental Policy, and from 1978-1979, he was a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in Public and Environmental Policy and Implementation.

Cohen served as a policy analyst in the EPA from 1977-78 in the Office of Water and then in 1980-1981 in the Office of Hazardous Emergency Response and was responsible for developing and coordinating the implementation of public participation policy for the Agency’s hazardous waste clean-up Superfund Program. He worked as a consultant to the agency from 1981-1991, 1994-1996, and 2005-2010.

In 1981 he began working at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs as an assistant professor of political science and became the Director of the Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration in 1985. From 1985 to 1998, he was the Director of Columbia's Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration, and from 1998 to 2001 Cohen worked as the Vice Dean of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. In addition, Cohen was the Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum at SIPA from 1987-1998. From 2002 to 2006, he directed education programs at The Earth Institute, and became Executive Director in 2006.

Cohen has acted as a consultant to the EPA’s Superfund program, underground storage tank program and Region II management. Along with William Eimicke he has undertaken management consulting and training for a number of government and nonprofit organizations.

Professor Cohen often comments on regional and national environmental policies, from Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC to waste-to-energy options for urban areas, from the aftermath of 9/11 to global warming and nuclear energy. He is frequently mentioned in publications such as the Daily News, The New York Times, USA Today, and Financial Times on regional politics. Professor Cohen has commented multiple times for both Fox News and NY1 television on the New York City mayoral race and the presidential campaigns.

Cohen is the author of Understanding Environmental Policy (2nd Edition) (2014), Sustainability Management (2011), Understanding Environmental Policy (2006) and The Effective Public Manager (1988) as well the co-author of Sustainability Policy: Hastening the Transition to a Cleaner Economy (2015), The Responsible Contract Manager (2008), Strategic Planning in Environmental Regulation (2005), The Effective Public Manager 3rd and 4th editions (2002, 2008), Tools for Innovators: Creative Strategies for Managing Public Sector Organizations (1998), The New Effective Public Manager (1995), Total Quality Management in Government (1993), Environmental Regulation Through Strategic Planning (1991), and numerous articles on public management innovation, public ethics, sustainability management, politics and environmental management. He also writes a blog for The Huffington Post.

Selected publications


  • Sustainability Policy: Hastening the Transition to a Cleaner Economy (with William Eimicke and Alison Miller), (Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2015)
  • Understanding Environmental Policy, 2nd Edition (Columbia University Press, 2014)
  • Sustainability Management: Lessons from and for New York City, America, and the Planet (Columbia University Press, 2011)
  • Understanding Environmental Policy (Columbia University Press, 2006)
  • Strategic Planning in Environmental Regulation: A Policy Approach That Works (With Sheldon Kamieniecki and Matthew A. Cahn), (MIT Press, 2005)
  • The Effective Public Manager, 4th Edition (With William Eimicke and Tanya Heikkila), (Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2008)
  • Tools for Innovators (With William Eimicke), (Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1998)
  • Total Quality Management in Government (With Ronald Brand) (1993)
  • Articles

  • "Managing Workfare:The Case of the Work Experience Program in the New York City Parks Department" [1]
  • "Managing Privatization: The Tools, Skills, Goals and Ethics of Contracting" (with William Eimicke) [2]
  • "Environmental Policy at its Most Fundamental: The Case of New York City's Solid Waste Crisis" [3]
  • "Public Participation and Shaping Urban Development: The Case of the Atlantic Yard and Nets Arena Project in Brooklyn" (with William Eimicke) [4]
  • References

    Steven A. Cohen (academic) Wikipedia

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