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Jared L. Cohon - Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh, PA, US

Jared L. Cohon

University Professor | Carnegie Mellon University


Jared L. Cohon has worked on large-scale water problems and on energy facility issues, especially nuclear waste.


Professor Cohon served as the President of Carnegie Mellon from 1997 until 2013. Before that he was Dean of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale (1992-1997) and on the faculty and in the administration at Johns Hopkins (1973-1992). He serves on the board of five foundations and non-profit organizations and one corporation. Among his extensive service for the U.S. government and the National Academies, he chaired the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (1997-2002), co-chaired the Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Laboratories (2015-2016), and currently chairs the Academies’ Board on Energy and Environmental Systems.

Professor Cohon is interested in environmental systems analysis, especially the development and application of optimization tools for large-scale natural resource and environmental problems. Most of his theoretical work has focused on algorithms for multi-objective programming problems and systems methods for integrating engineering, economics and policy in public environmental decision making. He has worked most on water resource, energy and waste problems.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Nuclear Waste Management

Natural Resources


Environmental Systems Analysis

Environmental Problems

Media Appearances (5)

Swimming pool closing as CUC construction ramps up

The Tartan  online


Later this month, Carnegie Mellon community members will start to feel the impact of work on the Jared L. Cohon University Center (CUC) addition beyond the sights and sounds of construction on Forbes Avenue.

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Carnegie Mellon professors question university president over planned campus in Kagame’s Rwanda

San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper  online


Faculty members at Carnegie Mellon University’s Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences have signed a petition questioning the university’s partnership with Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, as they plan to open a branch campus in Kigali in 2012. The petition cites charges that his government has committed gross human rights violations in Rwanda and in the Congo. It also cites increased repression of the press and political freedoms.

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Despite economy, private university presidents’ salaries rise to over $1 million

The Tartan  online


Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University is the 51st highest-paid university exectutive, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Cohon received an estimated $733,000 in salary and benefits last year, which is about $100,000 higher than the average compensation for his position. This was a 24 percent increase over his previous year’s wages.

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NTU, Carnegie Mellon University establish dual Ph.D. degree program in engineering

EurekAlert!  online


The partnership was sealed at a ceremony at NTU today where NTU President Dr Su Guaning and CMU President Dr Jared L. Cohon signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish the programme, witnessed by senior officials from both universities' Colleges of Engineering.

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Carnegie Mellon Professor Jeannette Wing Chosen to Head Computer & Information Science & Engineering Directorate at NSF

National Science Foundation  online


"Jeannette Wing is one of the most original and creative scientists in computing today," said Carnegie Mellon President Jared L. Cohon. "She has made superb contributions here as a researcher, teacher and administrator. NSF could not have made a better choice for this pivotal leadership role."

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Jared L. Cohon Publication



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(2/5) CMU and the Economy - Interview with Dr. Jared L. Cohon A Legacy of Leadership - Dr. Jared L. Cohon Jared L. Cohon Lecture: The Accidental President



Industry Expertise (5)

Public Policy




Writing and Editing

Accomplishments (3)

Lifetime Acheivement Award (professional)

2018 Pennsylvania Environmental Council

National Engineering Award (professional)

2011 American Association of Engineering Societies

Distinguished Member (professional)

2009 American Society of Civil Engineering

Education (3)

University of Pennsylvania: B.S., Civil Engineering 1969

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Ph.D., Civil Engineering 1973

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: M.S., Civil Engineering 1972

Affiliations (1)

  • Academies’ Board on Energy and Environmental Systems : Chair

Articles (5)

Optimizing an equitable micro-hydropower deployment: Application of a multi-objective method for rural Indonesia

Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis

2021 Much of the developing world is still struggling to provide electricity to rural populations. Extending the grid is frequently not feasible or too expensive in rural and remote areas. In such situations, micro-hydropower (MHP) can be a cost-effective source of renewable off-grid electricity and can be easier to implement and more reliable than a number of other generation technologies.

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Integrated Multiobjective Optimization and Simulation Model Applied to Drinking Water Treatment Placement in the Context of Existing Infrastructure

Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management

2019 Drinking water systems provide consistent and safe supplies of water across urban areas through the use of treatment and distribution infrastructure. Design of drinking water infrastructure requires incorporation of multiple conflicting stakeholder goals, such as cost and water quality. This work expands on a previously developed integrated modeling framework that uses simulation and optimization models for long-term planning of treatment infrastructure in the context of existing distribution systems.

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Cumulative environmental and employment impacts of the shale gas boom

Nature Sustainability

2019 Natural gas has become the largest fuel source for electricity generation in the United States and accounts for a third of energy production and consumption. However, the environmental and socioeconomic impacts across the supply chain and over the boom-and-bust cycle have not been comprehensively characterized.

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Quantifying the social equity state of an energy system: environmental and labor market equity of the shale gas boom in Appalachia

Environmental Research Letters

2019 A fundamental societal concern in energy system transitions is the distribution of benefits and costs across populations. A recent transition, the US shale gas boom, has dramatically altered the domestic energy outlook and global markets; however, the social equity implications have not been meaningfully assessed and accounted for in public and private decision making. In this study, we develop and demonstrate a systematic approach to quantify the multi-dimensional equity state of an energy system, with a focus on the shale gas boom in the Appalachian basin.

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System-wide and Superemitter Policy Options for the Abatement of Methane Emissions from the U.S. Natural Gas System

Environmental Science and Technology

2017 This work assesses trade-offs between system-wide and superemitter policy options for reducing methane emissions from compressor stations in the U.S. transmission and storage system. Leveraging recently collected national emissions and activity data sets, we developed a new process-based emissions model implemented in a Monte Carlo simulation framework to estimate emissions for each component and facility in the system.

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