Benjamin Cohen, Director

When Ben was an undergrad at Williams College, he thought he was going to work in biogenetics. That is, until he headed to the Arctic. Troubled by how pollution was affecting this fragile ecosystem, he quickly changed his focus to environmental science. 

Since then, Ben has studied and worked in Namibia, Nepal, and the U.S.β€”and has seen how climate change is directly affecting not just ecosystems, but people. For example, during his Fulbright Scholarship in Nepal, he met frequently with communities who live under constant threat of catastrophic flash flooding caused by glacier melt.

Ben has developed solar power projects to bring electricity to off-grid areas of Namibia, co-created storm and flood resilience plans with community members in Bridgeport, CT, and served as a green infrastructure investment strategist at both Encourage Capital and at the UN Development Programme, where he also launched a $37 million flood resilience program covering 11 districts of northern Pakistan.

Ben is a graduate of the dual MBA/Masters of Environmental Management program at Yale, where he focused on sustainable finance. While there, he also participated in the MBA Impact Investing Network and Training program, conducted research on the correlation between environmental and financial performance of investments, and developed new quantitative metrics to evaluate the impact of resilience programs. In his spare time, Ben plays several instruments (guitar, piano, oboe, and upright bass) and enjoys being outdoors hiking, camping, and cross-country skiing.