New Director of the Public and Urban Policy Doctoral Program

Michael Cohen has been named the new director of the PhD program in Public and Urban Policy at the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment. Michael will assume directorship of the doctoral program on July 1, succeeding Darrick Hamilton, who became the Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University.

In accepting this appointment, Michael noted, “I have been very encouraged by the broad faculty interest in contributing to the doctoral program across the University and the shared belief between students and faculty that collectively we can build on past achievements to create an exciting, innovative, and rigorous doctoral program. Our challenge is to prepare students to translate their commitments to social justice into relevant scholarship and informed engagement with urgent local, national, and global problems.”

Michael was the founding director of the Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs (SGPIA). In 2014, he returned to the SGPIA faculty where he will continue to teach and be a member of the SGPIA faculty. In addition to teaching graduate courses in international affairs and urban policy, he has also served on many doctoral dissertation committees for students in the Public and Urban Policy program. He is the Co-Director of the Observatory on Latin America, with Professor Margarita Gutman, and Director of the Global Urban Futures Project.

Michael is an urban and development policy specialist. Before coming to The New School in 2001, he was a Visiting Fellow at the International Center for Advanced Studies at New York University and senior advisor to the World Bank’s Vice President for Environmentally Sustainable Development.

Michael worked at the World Bank from 1972 to 1999 and was responsible for much of the Bank’s urban policy development during that period. Michael has worked in 55 countries and was heavily involved in the World Bank’s work on infrastructure, environment, and sustainable development. His numerous published works include several books on urban development, Africa, the impact of development assistance, and Latin America, including a monograph on the economic recovery of Argentina (2012) and an edited volume on the impact of the global financial crisis on Latin America (2012). In recent years Michael has advised national and local governments, United Nations agencies, multilateral development institutions, foundations, universities, and civil society organizations on urban and development issues. He has served on the infrastructure and urban demographics committees of the U.S. National Academy of Science. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1971.

In announcing the appointment, Milano Interim Dean John Clinton expressed thanks to the “many members of the Public and Urban Policy PhD community and especially the acting leadership group of Michael, Rachel Meltzer, and Nidhi Srinivas for their work this spring, and to Darrick Hamilton, who guided the progress of the doctoral program for four years. I am delighted that in accepting this new role Michael will lead the next phase of the doctoral program’s journey.”    

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