Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business presented David L. Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast Corporation, with the 2008 Business Leader of the Year Award at a well-attended luncheon held in Mr. Cohen’s honor on Thursday, Dec. 4, in the Grand Ballroom at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia.
In accepting the award, Mr. Cohen expressed his views how the region’s government, business and academic communities can pull together to weather the economic meltdown. “I’ve always been a glass-half-full kind of optimist, and I honestly believe Philadelphia is on the cusp of greatness,” Mr. Cohen said.
“The challenges we face are bigger than the government or business community or academic community can solve on their own,” Mr. Cohen said. “But together, we can make real progress in addressing some of our region’s endemic problems and build on its incredible strengths.”
Mr. Cohen also demonstrated his dedication to the city of Philadelphia by addressing the need for better funding for public schools in Philadelphia. He said that in addition to fighting for lower taxes on business, business groups have a moral obligation to focus on this issue.
“I am certain the best of times are just ahead — for our country, for Philadelphia, for Drexel, and for all of us here today,” Mr. Cohen said. The luncheon’s theme was a tribute to Mr. Cohen’s BlackBerry, to which his colleague’s joke he is ‘addicted.’
A native of New York, Mr. Cohen rose to prominence as chief of staff to former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell, a position he held from 1992 to 1997. His counsel as the mayor’s most trusted advisor is credited with helping pull the city from the brink of financial ruin to a resurgent center in a thriving metropolis. After leaving city government, Mr. Cohen became a partner at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, one of the 100 largest law practices in America.
Since 2002, Mr. Cohen has served as vice president of Comcast Corporation, where he assumes many responsibilities including corporate communications, government affairs, public affairs, corporate administration, and is senior counselor to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.
“Few leaders are as accomplished as David L. Cohen in so many arenas,” said Dr. George P. Tsetsekos, dean, LeBow College of Business. “David has been a great public servant for the city of Philadelphia, has run a very prestigious law firm, and is now instrumental to the success of the nation’s largest cable company, Comcast,” said Tsetsekos. “For much of the past two decades, he has been involved in many of the great civic, community, and business-related accomplishments in the Philadelphia area and he is certainly a leader we are proud to honor.”
Mr. Cohen is one of Greater Philadelphia’s most respected leaders, and his counsel is sought-after by many companies and organizations throughout the region. Most recently, he was selected as chairman of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and also serves as a member of the chamber’s CEO Council for Growth. Mr. Cohen also serves as chair of the trustee board and the executive committee of Penn Medicine and as a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and sits on its executive committee. He is a national trustee of City Year, chair of the governance committee and a member of the executive committee. Additionally, Mr. Cohen holds the vice chair of the board of directors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. Numerous organizations have awarded and recognized Mr. Cohen for his full-throttled commitment to civic and charitable causes.
Mr. Cohen is 1977 graduate of Swarthmore College and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1981.