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 also 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 Continuing Education. From 2002 to 2006, he directed education programs at the Earth Institute. From 1998 to 2001, Cohen was Vice Dean of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. From 1985 to 1998, he was the Director of Columbia's Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration. From 1987-1998, Cohen was Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum at SIPA.
He is a graduate of James Madison High School in Brooklyn (1970), Franklin College of Indiana (1974) and the State University of New York at Buffalo (M.A., 1977; Ph.D., 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 2009. 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, Board of Directors of the Willdan Group, Inc., and Advisory Board of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. Dr. Cohen also sits on the judging committee for the Yidan Prize Foundation.
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.
Dr. Cohen 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 Capstone 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.