GW hires leader of new public service center

After a nearly six month-long nationwide search, the University has chosen a career advocacy organization leader to head GW’s Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, the University announced last week.

Amy Cohen, a former vice president for child development programs at Save the Children – an international service organization that aims to improve the lives of children across the globe – will head the center, which was created and announced by University President Steven Knapp in October.

Cohen – who assumes the position April 26 – is tasked with working to coordinate public service activities taking place across different areas of the University. Some of the projects the center has already begun include heading the Public Service Grant Commission, which was given $20,000 to allocate to student groups across campus. The groups organized service projects that would count toward the Michelle Obama Commencement Challenge announced in September.

“I have long been a supporter of GW’s work in the community,” said Cohen, whose sister graduated from GW in the early 1990s. “The opportunity to strengthen and deepen GW’s partnerships and to focus on integrating service and civic engagement into the University’s outstanding research and teaching is fantastic.”

Other tasks the center will undertake include selecting the recipient of the University’s Colin Powell Public Service Award – named after alumnus and former Secretary of State Colin Powell – which honors a member of the GW community who has “made an outstanding contribution to public service.” The inaugural Colin Powell Public Service Award was given to Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary and GW alumna Tammy Duckworth in October 2009.

“If we focus our attention here at GW on actively working together to address the most critical needs of our community and the nation, we will strengthen scholarship, learning and The George Washington University,” Cohen said in a news release.

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