Howard Cohen MPP 2018 amplifies the voice of democracy.


Howard Cohen
Howard Cohen MPP 2018

Name and HKS degree: Howard Cohen MPP 2018

Home town: Montreal, Canada

Education: Law degree, McGill University

Summer internship: CNN, New York

Fun fact: When I’m not in the classroom, you can find me across the bridge at the Harvard tennis courts!

Why HKS?

I was working on a civic engagement initiative called Vote Compass and wanted to help make democracy go viral by bringing this online tool to countries across the world. At the time, we were only in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Through my time at Harvard, I knew that I could learn about doing business in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. I hoped that I would meet students and professors from across cultures who could help me in my mission to strengthen democracies globally and empower local populations.

“When you aggregate data from an incredible amount of individuals in the population, you’re giving them a voice. Big data creates big possibilities.”

Howard Cohen MPP 2018

HKS highlights

Working with Professor Luis Moreno Ocampo to try to build a Global Justice Academy, which will train the next generation of leaders in human rights and justice.

Co-founding the Media Professional Interest Council and being a part of this graduate student arm of the Shorenstein Center; it has been such an honor and privilege. It’s amazing turning a vision into a reality and it wouldn’t be possible without the incredible work of my co-founders and the dedication of both Nicco Mele and the Shorenstein Center to get us off the ground.

Conducting research for Samantha Power, former US Ambassador to the UN. Having an international lawyer who takes an interest in your work is something so special. It’s a testament to the fact that the sky is the limit at Harvard. You get to work with people you’d never think you could meet.

What’s next?

I’ll be scaling a social enterprise, defending our constitutional rights in court and using the power of media to tell stories of heroes who risk their lives day in and day out to make the word a better place. HKS has reminded me just how important those fundamental rights are that I seek to defend each and every day before the judges of our country and international community.