Herman Jay Cohen

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Herman Jay Cohen
Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
In office
May 12, 1989 – February 26, 1993 [1]
PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush
Preceded byChester Crocker
Succeeded byGeorge Moose
United States Ambassador to the Gambia
In office
June 24, 1977 – July 21, 1980
PresidentJimmy Carter
Preceded byO. Rudolph Aggrey
Succeeded byLarry Gordon Piper
Personal details
Born (1932-02-10) February 10, 1932 (age 87)
New York City, U.S.
Alma materCity College of New York[2]
AwardsLégion d’Honneur
Order of Leopold II, Belgium [3]
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army

Herman Jay "Hank" Cohen (born February 10, 1932) served as United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1989 to 1993. He brokered an end to the Eritrean-Ethiopian War in 1991,[4] and conflicts in Angola and Mozambique.[2]

Career synopsis[edit]

Cohen, born in New York City in 1932, received a BA in political science from the City College of New York in 1953. He then joined the United States Army, serving until 1955. He received an MA in international relations from American University in 1962. He served in the Foreign Service as a consular officer, attaché, and political counselor until his appointment to the post of United States Ambassador to Gambia and Senegal in 1977, serving until 1980. He later served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research from 1980-1984, a Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Africa on the U.S. National Security Council from 1987-1989, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1989-1993.[2] Cohen served as a senior advisor to the Global Coalition for Africa before becoming a professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies for twelve years. Currently he is president and CEO of Cohen and Woods International. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Hyperdynamics Oil and Gas and as a consultant for ContourGlobal.[5]


  • The Mind of the African Strongman. New Academia. 2015. ISBN 978-0-986-43530-0.
  • Intervening in Africa: Conflict Resolution in a Troubled Continent. Palgrave Macmillan. 2000. ISBN 978-0-312-23221-4.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Orison Rudolph Aggrey
U.S. Ambassador to Gambia
1977 – 1980
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Orison Rudolph Aggrey
U.S. Ambassador to Senegal
1977 – 1980
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Chester A. Crocker
United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
1989 – 1993
Succeeded by
George Moose