Minneapolis Jewish Federation names new CEO

Minneapolis Jewish Federation has named James A. (Jim) Cohen as the new Chief Executive Officer, effective May 15, 2017. The national search was conducted by a committee of key lay leaders and co-chaired by Howard Zack, President-Elect, and Gabrielle Parish, president of GF Parish Group.

Jim comes to Minneapolis with a broad background of service to both our country and the Jewish people. Most recently he served as CEO of the United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan, and Darien. During his tenure at Stamford, Jim brought substantive positive change to the organization, including implementing new modalities of giving, establishing a legacy society, updating the governance structure, and creating positive, 21stcentury messaging about the benefits of federated giving.

“Jim Cohen is uniquely suited to help us move Minneapolis Jewish Federation forward,” said Howard Zack. “His dedication to the Jewish community, strategic perspective, and track record at the Greater Stamford Federation make him the ideal candidate to lead our community into the future.”

Before his career in Jewish service, Jim served for five years as Assistant Secretary of the University for International Affairs at Yale University, where he coordinated university activities in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe and advised the Yale Corporation and the President’s Council for International Activities.

Prior to his appointment at Yale, Jim spent ten years as a career diplomat in the Foreign Service of the United States Department of State. He served as Deputy Political Counselor in Quito, Ecuador, as a member of the Secretary of State’s Executive Secretariat, as Political-Military Affairs Officer in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and as Staff Assistant to the US Ambassador to Egypt.

“We are especially excited about what Jim brings to Minneapolis,” explains David Orbuch, President of Minneapolis Jewish Federation. “His years in the state department as a diplomat have equipped him to build relationships, forge alliances, and carry out strategic plans. His recent tenure at a Federation means he knows the business—its challenges and its inherent strengths.”

Jim’s wife, Lisa and their two school-aged children, Jonathan and Dahlia will join Jim in Minneapolis in August.

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