Brent J. Cohen

Former Fellow
D.C. Policy Center

Brent J. Cohen is the Managing Director at Public Service Consulting Group, LLC and a part-time faculty member at New York University’s Washington, DC campus. Brent is a proven government leader and noted justice reform expert, with senior-level experience at the City and Federal level and a track record of legislative, policy, and operations successes.

Previously, Brent was a Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs at the United States Department of Justice. Among other responsibilities, Brent built a $40 million government-wide portfolio to more appropriately respond to justice-involved young adults; led the Department’s efforts for President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps among boys and young men of color; and, oversaw the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

In 2013, Brent was one of twelve individuals appointed by the President of the United States to the 2013-2014 class of White House Fellows, and was assigned to work with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management. Immediately prior to the Fellowship, he was the Director of

Legislative and Government Affairs for the New York City Department of Probation, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at New York University. In his role as Director, Brent successfully developed relationships with state and local elected officials to implement the department’s ambitious reform agenda, including the passage of the landmark “Close to Home” legislation, which realigned the state’s juvenile justice system.

Brent began his career as a teacher in South Los Angeles. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master of Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

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Written By Brent J. Cohen

Implementing the NEAR Act to reduce violence in D.C.

The Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act was passed by the Council of the District of Columbia in March 2016 in response to an increase in homicides the previous year.  Its goal was to reduce violence in the District, but instead of perpetuating broken and ineffective “war on drugs”-style methods, it uses…

May 25, 2017 | Brent J. Cohen