William Cohen Profile Photo

William Cohen

WSB Exclusive Speaker

Distinguished Statesman, Secretary of Defense (1997-2001) and CEO, The Cohen Group

The first elected official in modern times selected to serve in a President's cabinet of an opposing party, William Cohen assesses the state of world affairs and the relationship between international politics and the global economy.

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William Cohen'S SPEAKING FEE $25K - $40K

William Cohen Profile Photo

As secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton, Cohen’s bipartisan leadership ensured successful military operations around the world, including Bosnia/Kosovo and Iraq. A much sought-after expert on defense, economic and international issues, he helps audiences understand the world─and its opportunities and challenges─as it will exist tomorrow. Cohen managed 3.2 million Defense Department employees around the world with a budget in excess of $300 billion. Currently chairman and CEO of The Cohen Group, a highly respected consulting firm with an international reach, he helps navigate the complex arena where government, politics, media and business intersect to locate opportunities for investment while minimizing risk. From experience, Cohen’s delivers business advice for developing and implementing strategic plans, identifying and managing unforeseen risks and motivating a large workforce. Cohen shares his insight into today’s most vital issues: terrorism, international relations, national security, military preparedness, trade and global economics.

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William Cohen Profile Photo
William Cohen

William Cohen on Putin’s Threat to Civilians

William Cohen’s Speech Topics

  • The Prospects for Asian Security and Prosperity

    Drawing on more than two decades of extensive travels across Asia and his close relationships with the region’s leading political and business figures, Secretary Cohen offers a comprehensive and insightful discussion of the premier obstacles to – and opportunities for – regional security and prosperity. What does the future hold for America’s political, economic and military influence in Asia? How will China’s emergence impact security cooperation and financial investment? What role will North Korea play?

  • Public Policy in a Political Era

    Building on the independent record and approach to governance that defined his 31 years in public office, Secretary Cohen offers a unique, candid and compelling perspective on the great public policy issues facing the nation. As a Republican who served under Democrat Bill Clinton, Cohen offers rare bipartisan perspectives. What are the prospects for bipartisanship? Can the political center survive between Left and Right? How can today’s leaders transcend party to advance common goals?

  • Countering Terrorism: A Voice Of Experience

    As the Secretary of Defense in President Clinton’s administration, William S. Cohen led the Defense Department efforts to counter terrorism. During Cohen’s tenure, the United States was targeted by Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network in the bombing of U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and the attempt to destroy the U.S.S. Cole. Cohen was a key player on the national security team that decided to strike Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and and a chemical weapons plant in Sudan. He also ordered the vaccination of U.S. troops to protect them from Anthrax and initiated planning to protect American cities from terrorist attacks involving nuclear, chemical and biological weapons In his presentation, Secretary Cohen discusses the most critical challenges this country faces in battling terrorism on many fronts, using all means available to us: military, diplomatic, economic, and intelligence. He also addresses the need for the United States to ensure the best possible domestic defenses and responses to biological and chemical terrorist threats. Cohen gives audiences a context for understanding why and how this country is a target for certain terrorist networks. He examines what we have done, are doing, and must do to meet the requirements these challenges pose. His perspective, gained from years of direct experience in working these difficult issues, gives audiences depth and breadth of insight far beyond what they would obtain from traditional media.

  • A Conversation with the Cohens

    Janet Langhart, an African American, was raised by her Southern Baptist single mother in Indianapolis, Indiana. She progressed to a career as an accomplished journalist and correspondent. William Cohen, the son of a Jewish father and Protestant Irish mother, was born and raised in Bangor, Maine. He was eventually elected as the Republican senator from Maine. After meeting in 1974, Langhart and Cohen were married in the U.S. Capitol in 1996. Less than 50 years earlier, their marriage would have been illegal. As described in their book Love in Black and White: A Memoir of Race, Religion, and Romance, the couple share with audiences their inspiring story of how two high-profile people of different racial and religious backgrounds have managed to overcome the long and troubled history of race and romance in the U.S. The Cohens discuss:

    • Changes in attitude about race and interracial romance
    • Racial and ethnic prejudices they have overcome individually and animosity they have occasionally faced as a couple
    • Their views on current race relations.
  • The Perils and Promise of the New World

    Having guided U.S. security policy and U.S. forces during an historic period in global affairs, Secretary Cohen offers a prospective and revealing examination – indispensable to political and business leaders alike of the opportunities and the dangers confronting the United States in the early 21st Century. How can the United States harness this unique moment in history to expand freedom and prosperity? How should the U.S. manage its critical relationships with such countries as Russia and China? How can government and business prepare against growing threats such as cyber-terrorism and traditional terrorism? What other risks do businesses face abroad? How does U.S. government policy impact the political and security environment abroad where U.S. businesses operate?

  • The Future of European Peace and Security

    Following his success in working with America’s European allies to enlarge and reorient the NATO Alliance and restore peace and stability to the Balkans, Secretary Cohen interprets and analyzes current developments in European affairs. Can the NATO Alliance founded in the 20th Century preserve and foster peace in the 21st Century? Will Russia pursue a path of cooperation or confrontation? What are the political, economic and military implications for a Europe that is more active in security policy? What is the role for NATO in the Middle East?

What other organizations say about William Cohen

Secretary Cohen may have been the most impressive speaker I’ve seen to date. The eloquence and wisdom he displays is something to behold. Add to that his grace, patience and kindness, and you can’t ask for a better guest.

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