Alumni Profile

Rima Cohen
Rima Cohen
Managing Director, Health Innovators Fellowship, The Aspen Institute; former Counselor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
MPA, Class of 1986
Rima Cohen is currently the Managing Director, Health Innovators Fellowship, The Aspen Institute.  She was previously the Counselor for Health Policy to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. In this role, she provided advice to the Secretary on a range of health care matters and helped to develop and lead Administration initiatives related to programs administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Office for Civil Rights. Prior to assuming this position in the Obama Administration, Ms. Cohen was the Director of Health and Social Services for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where she oversaw the City’s health care programs and agencies, including Medicaid, the City’s public hospital and health care system, and the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. Cohen also spent a decade on Capitol Hill as former-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle’s senior health policy advisor, and she founded and directed Insurance Options for the Uninsured (IOU), a project sponsored by the Greater New York Hospital Foundation that developed and implemented strategies for expanding health insurance coverage in New York. 
Ms. Cohen has a master’s degree in public affairs, with a concentration in economics, from Princeton and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan; she also did undergraduate work at the London School of Economics. After graduate school, Cohen was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study program evaluation methods employed by U.S. NGOs operating in Indonesia.
Ms. Cohen lives with her husband and daughter in New York City and Washington DC.