Leonard A. Cole

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Leonard A. Cole
Leonard A. Cole.jpg
Born (1933-09-01)September 1, 1933, Paterson, New Jersey
Education University of California, Berkeley; University of Pennsylvania; Columbia University

Leonard A. Cole (born 1933), an American dentist, political scientist and expert on bioterrorism and terror medicine. He is adjunct professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark, New Jersey and of emergency medicine at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. A pioneer in developing the field of terror medicine,[1] he is founding Director of the Program on Terror Medicine and Security at the medical school.[2][3]

Trained in both the health sciences and public policy, Cole has testified before congressional committees and made invited presentations to the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Office of Technology Assessment.[4][5][6][7]

He is on the Board of Directors of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine[8] and has served on the Advisory Board of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. Appointed by the Governor of New Jersey to the New Jersey-Israel Commission,[9] he chairs the Commission's committee on Homeland Security.[10] In addition, he has coordinated exchanges on terror medicine and domestic security between American and Israeli academics and professionals.

Cole has appeared frequently on network and public television[11] and is the author or editor of ten books (see Bibliography). His articles have appeared in numerous professional journals as well as general publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Scientific American, and The Sciences.


Cole received a B.A. with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. He also holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.

Cole was national chairman of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs during 2000-2002. He was a featured commentator in Avoiding Armageddon (2003), a PBS documentary on biological and chemical warfare. His book The Anthrax Letters: A Medical Detective Story was named an Honor Book by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.[12] Other recent books include Terror: How Israel Has Coped and What America Can Learn (2007) and Local Planning for Terror and Disaster: From Bioterrorism to Earthquakes (2012). He was featured in a 2008 television program on anthrax entitled "Airborne Attack", part of the Mega Disasters series on the History Channel.

A member of the WMD Working Group of the Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Group, Cole co-authored and co-edited the working group’s 2012 report on WMD Terrorism.[13][14]

Other recent interviews and presentations have been posted by the PBS NewsHour, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, FrontPage magazine, and Eye on Books. He served as chair of the Birthright Israel Committee of the Jewish Federations of North America during 2006-2013.

Cole lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey with his wife, Ruth.

Awards and accolades[edit]

Cole has been awarded grants and fellowships by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2008 he received the alumni merit award from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.[15] He is a Fellow of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and board member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Formerly a board member of the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) Alumni Association, he was featured in the GSAS publication, Superscript.[16]



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