Elizabeth Cohan is a senior director in the office of the executive chairman in APCO Worldwide’s Washington, D.C. office. Ms. Cohan brings to this role 17 years of experience leading international development and strategy consulting initiatives, advising and engaging leaders at the highest levels of government and international institutions. She specializes in driving strategy and decision-making processes, stakeholder management across complex organizations, and partnership building with civil society, public and private sectors to achieve business and social impact. She has a background in emerging markets (particularly sub-Saharan Africa), women and gender issues, private sector growth and international development finance.
For six years prior to joining APCO, Ms. Cohan worked in the U.S. federal government as a director at the National Security Council at the White House and as a senior advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development. In these roles, Ms. Cohan designed and launched Presidential initiatives and partnerships and led policy processes on issues including U.S. foreign assistance, food security, energy access, and women’s empowerment in the developing world. She chaired the interagency process that created the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) initiative, championed by Ivanka Trump. She also advised the White House G7 and G20 sherpa teams on sustainable development policy positions.
Prior to serving in government, Ms. Cohan was a strategy consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton and Mission Measurement, leading strategic planning and organization design client engagements. She also implemented gender, health and livelihoods programs for organizations including the International Rescue Committee, John Snow Inc., Search for Common Ground and Africare.
Ms. Cohan has an undergraduate degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts in women’s and gender studies and African and Middle Eastern studies and holds a master of science in foreign service from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She has lived and worked in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and the Darfur region of Sudan.