Professor Joins Environmental Think Tank

From the Fall 2008 edition of Vanderbilt Business

Mark Cohen, Vanderbilt’s Justin Potter Professor of American Competitive Enterprise and Professor of Law, is taking on a new role for Resources for the Future (RFF) as Vice President of Research. RFF is an independent, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to improving environmental, energy and natural-resource policymaking worldwide through social-science research of the highest caliber. Cohen has been granted a sabbatical from the Owen School to lead a team of 40 researchers in Washington, D.C.

Professor Joins Environmental ThinktankCohen is a leading expert on enforcing environmental regulations and on corporate crime and punishment. He has published more than 85 articles and books on such diverse topics as the effect of community “right to know” laws on firm behavior; why firms reduce toxic chemical emissions; cost-benefit analysis of oil-spill regulation and enforcement; how the financial markets value corporate environmental policies and perform-ance; and government enforcement policy and judicial sentencing of individuals and firms convicted of environmental crimes.

Cohen is Co-Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies and currently part of a team of researchers investigating greenhouse gasses and individual behavior through Vanderbilt’s Climate Change Research Network.

“It’s crucial that the brightest minds in academia and the business community take the lead on creating ways to protect and improve the environment. Owen is strongly committed to teaching our students the value of integrating environmental innovation and sustainability into business,” says Owen Dean Jim Bradford. “We applaud Mark’s selection into this prestigious organization.”

Cohen is a member of the Stakeholder Council of the Global Reporting Initiative, which is affiliated with the United Nations Environment Programme, dedicated to developing and disseminating globally applicable sustainability reporting guidelines. He has recently served as a member of the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board’s Illegal Competitive Advantage Economic Benefit Advisory Panel; the General Accounting Office’s Expert Panel on Disclosure of Environmental Information in SEC filings; and Tennessee’s Environmental Justice Steering Committee. Prior to joining the Owen faculty in 1986, Cohen served as an economist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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