As Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) former president and professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Engineering and Public Policy, Dr. Cohon has been a devoted catalyst for CMU’s sustainability research.
Dr. Cohon began his career at Johns Hopkins University working in administrative positions until 1992 when he left to become Dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale. He joined CMU in 1997 becoming the University’s eighth president and remaining in that post until 2013.
Dr. Cohon’s work includes working on large-scale water problems in Argentina, China, India, and the U.S. Water resource systems have been a focus of his career from the start, publishing multiple studies on the subject. In addition to water, Dr. Cohon has worked on other environmental and energy systems as well as the policies that guide those systems.
He has served on multiple boards ranging from nonprofits to corporations to government. President Bill Clinton appointed Cohon to the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board in 1995 and made him chairman in 1997. In 2002 President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Cohon to the Homeland Security Advisory Council and was reappointed to the position by President Barack Obama in 2009.
A recipient of multiple awards and recognitions, Dr. Cohon’s impact has been felt around the world receiving honorary degrees from CMU, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. In 2012, he received the National Engineering Award from the American Association of Engineering Societies. Locally, Dr. Cohon was awarded with Green Building Alliance’s 2016 Legacy Award for his history of environmental study.