Press Release

RFF Names Mark Cohen Vice President for Research

Jun 26, 2008

RFF Names Mark Cohen to New Position as Vice President for Research

FOR RELEASE: June 26, 2008                                                                                                                       CONTACT: Stan Wellborn, Director of Public Affairs, 202-328-5026

WASHINGTON – Mark A. Cohen, a professor at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management and co-founder of the Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies, will become Vice President for Research at Resources for the Future in September.

The newly created position will oversee all research programs at RFF and guide efforts to align RFF’s mission with current environmental, energy, and natural resource policy issues.

“Mark emerged as the top candidate after a lengthy search to fill an important new leadership position,” said RFF President Phil Sharp in announcing the appointment. “He has a demonstrated ability to effect institutional change in an academic setting and to nurture program development. Moreover, he has a strategic mindset that recognizes the vital role of individual, entrepreneurial scholars in policy-oriented research.”

Cohen has been at Vanderbilt in various positions since 1986, most recently as departmental chair and senior associate dean of the Owen School. He also holds a secondary appointment as professor of law at Vanderbilt. Among his recent teaching roles have been graduate-level courses for business and law students on "Corporate Strategies for Environmental and Social Responsibility" and the "Law and Business of Climate Change."

 In accepting the RFF position, Cohen said, “I believe that transparency, communication, and inclusiveness are key ingredients to managing an engaged research team. I look forward to using my experience as a researcher, academic entrepreneur, and administrator to expand RFF’s exemplary reputation and to gain broader international recognition.”

During his career, Cohen has specialized in environmental enforcement and criminal justice issues. He is a recognized authority on sustainability reporting guidelines, which are standardized measures used by organizations to communicate their economic, environmental, and social performance and to measure their impact on sustainable development.

During the 1970s and 80s, he held various staff positions with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Cohen chaired the Committee on Law and Justice Statistics of the American Statistical Association, has served on numerous environmental advisory panels including the Tennessee Environmental Justice Steering Committee, is a member of the Stakeholder Council of the Global Reporting Initiative, and serves on the editorial board of Managerial and Decision Economics.

He is a 1978 cum laude graduate in international economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Carnegie-Mellon University’s Graduate School of Industrial Administration.


Founded in 1952, Resources for the Future is an independent and nonpartisan institution.