Announcement - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Former CIA Deputy Director David S. Cohen Joins Harvard’s Belfer Center as Senior Fellow

| July 19, 2017

David S. Cohen

Cambridge, MA – David S. Cohen, former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has been named a Senior Fellow with Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Cohen, who as the Agency’s second-in-command from 2015-2017 helped oversee all CIA operations, served previously as Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

As a non-resident Senior Fellow with the Center’s Intelligence and Defense Project, Cohen will conduct a study that focuses on the “CIA in the Digital Age,” looking into steps the Agency can take to improve its capacity for anticipating and tackling intelligence challenges in our increasingly interconnected world.

“With the addition of David to our Intelligence and Defense Project, the Belfer Center has added experience and knowledge of the most pressing intelligence challenges of the day,” said Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, director of the Project. “He brings fresh insights, a keen intellect, and a timely substantive focus to share with students, experts, faculty and staff. We're fortunate to have him on our team.”

“Advances in digital technology present both significant challenges and opportunities to the CIA’s core missions to clandestinely collect human intelligence and produce all-source analysis,” Cohen said. “I am excited to join the Belfer Center and its Intelligence and Defense Project to look broadly at how, in our pervasively digital world, the CIA can remain the world’s premier intelligence agency.”

As Deputy Director of the CIA, Cohen handled foreign intelligence collection, all-source analysis, covert action, counterintelligence, and liaison relationships, and assisted in managing the CIA’s domestic and worldwide operations. As Under Secretary at the Treasury, he directed the Treasury Department’s policy, enforcement, regulatory, and intelligence functions aimed at identifying and disrupting financial support to nations, organizations, and individuals posing a threat to U.S. national security. Previously, he was the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing, overseeing counterterrorist financing and anti-money laundering policy efforts.

Prior to joining the Treasury Department in 2009, Cohen practiced law in Washington, D.C. for almost 20 years. Earlier in his career, he worked in the Treasury’s General Counsel’s office and clerked for a federal trial court judge.

Cohen earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, where he graduated magna cum laude in Government with Distinction in All Subjects. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of Cornell and a member of the Board of Advisors at the Center on Law and Security of New York University Law School and an adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including the CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Medal and the Treasury Department’s Alexander Hamilton Award.

Contact: Sharon Wilke, Associate Director of Communications, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs: Sharon_Wilke@hks.harvardedu | 617-495-9858.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Former CIA Deputy Director David S. Cohen Joins Harvard’s Belfer Center as Senior Fellow.” Announcement, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, July 19, 2017.