Jared Cohen New York Times Bestselling Author, Global Affairs Specialist, Policy Planner, Data Science Expert

About the Author

Jared Cohen is the President of Global Affairs and cohead of applied innovation at Goldman Sachs. He is also the former CEO of Jigsaw which he founded at Alphabet Inc. in 2016. Prior to that, he was Google’s first director of ideas and chief advisor to Google’s chief executive officer and executive chairman Eric Schmidt. From 2006 to 2010, Cohen was a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff and was an advisor to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. During his time as a policy planner, he specialized in counterterrorism, the Middle East and South Asia, and internet freedom. He has been named to the “TIME 100” list, Foreign Policy’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers,” and Fortune’s “40 Under 40” and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, TIME Magazine, Financial Times, and Foreign Policy.

Cohen’s latest work is the New York Times bestseller Life After Power: Seven Presidents and Their Search for Purpose Beyond the White House, which tells the stories of seven former presidents, from the Founding to today. He explores the end of these presidents’ lives, offering an illuminating account of how they went from President to ordinary citizens, and how these men handled the very human problems of ego, finances, and questions about legacy and mortality. Cohen is also the author of Accidental Presidents; The New Digital Age: Transforming Nationals, Business, and our Lives; One Hundred Days of Silence: America and the Rwanda Genocide; and Children of Jihad: A Young American’s Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East.

In his keynotes, Cohen highlights U.S. presidents who have changed the nation’s history in extraordinary detail and demonstrates how the character of a person in power affects a nation and the world. Cohen also examines the ways in which technology is transforming our world and how technological trends will continue to impact and evolve the way we do business. He has spoken at the International Executive Council, the Center on National Security, the American Academy in Berlin, and more.

Cohen is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and is also a member of the Trilateral Commission. He serves on the Board of Directors of Gilded, Stanford University’s Freeman-Spogli Institute and the Chapin School. He serves on the advisory boards of RAND, the National Counterterrorism Center, Schmidt Futures and the Anti-Slavery Collective. Cohen received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and later earned his master’s in international relations from Oxford University. He lives in New York City with his wife and three daughters.

Suggested Topics

  • Life After Power: Seven Presidents and Their Search for Purpose Beyond the White House
  • Accidental Presidents: Eight Men Who Changed America 
  • American Politics and History
  • Foreign Relations
  • Current Events
  • Data Science
  • Technology
  • Politics in the Middle East

Raves and Reviews

Praise for Life After Power: Seven Presidents and Their Search for Purpose Beyond the White House:

Informative…Mr. Cohen shows himself to be a gifted artist in his own right…. [A] highly readable sequel that confirms the promise of the author’s earlier work.”
—Wall Street Journal

Displays an impressive breadth of sources and erudition… Life After Power is a richly rewarding and thought-provoking read.”
—David J. Garrow, Free Beacon

An affable exploration of life after the presidency. With a storyteller’s verve, he profiles seven presidents… [A] fresh and informative take on presidential history.”
—Publishers Weekly

The author packs this expansive sweep of presidential history with enough storytelling verve and grounded research to legitimize these presidents’ underrepresented post-term stories… An engaging dip into the history of the presidency.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred)

A captivating look at how we find purpose and forge identity in the wake of major transitions. Life After Power breaks new ground by revealing who presidents become once they leave office. This isn’t just a riveting read for people fascinated by history, politics, or power—it’s brimming with insights for anyone who’s ever wondered, ‘What’s next?’”
—Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and Hidden Potential and host of the TED podcast Re:Thinking

Most of us will face a dilemma as we grow older: how to have a next act in life that’s fulfilling. The greatest of all these transitions are made by people who suddenly find themselves as former presidents. Jared Cohen tells fascinating tales, filled with color and life lessons, of how seven of them handled it, from Washington to George W. Bush.”
—Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs

For anyone facing a big career transition, Life After Power stands as a master class in professional reinvention, strategic adaptation, and even personal growth. This book shows how a number of former Presidents significantly increased their impact after stepping away from the world’s most powerful job. The lessons in this immensely readable work of applied history can be valuable to everyone. Highly recommended!”
—Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of Linked-In, Co-Founder of Inflection AI

Jared Cohen takes a unique and fascinating look at how seven individuals made the transition from the most powerful position in the world to consequential and fulfilling private lives post-presidency. The stories of Life After Power reveal a great deal about the true character of a leader.”
—Condoleezza Rice, 66th Secretary of State and Director of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University

In Life After Power, Jared Cohen has tackled a fascinating question: How do you find purpose after having wielded unimaginable power? His portraits of seven presidents provide seven different models. You will learn something new from each one and together they will make you reflect on what gives meaning to life, especially after the bright lights have dimmed and the crowds have gone away.”
Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS and author of Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World

Life After Power is for those who want to keep building whether entrepreneur, leader, or anyone else who’s navigating their next phase in life.”
Marc Andreessen, cofounder, Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz

Jared Cohen captures, with great humor and depth, the introspection and actions taken by Americans who have been entrusted with great power finding purpose when their time on the main stage is over. The wonderful mix of the personal and historical will leave every reader asking themselves about purpose in life. Read it!”
—Mike Pompeo, 70th secretary of state

Praise for Accidental PresidentsEight Men Who Changed America

What a delightful book and brilliant concept! Jared Cohen treats us to some of the most colorful and momentous episodes in our history when we unexpectedly got a new president. He reveals the historic importance of some lesser-known leaders, such as John Tyler and Millard Fillmore, and highlights the greatness of Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson. Through their fascinating tales we learn why America is such a resilient nation and our Constitution a living document—lessons very powerful for today.”
—Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci

Fascinating, compelling and often alarming. With astonishing story after story, Jared Cohen chronicles the whole pageant of the unsteady, the unready and the unexpectedly capable. Nearly ten percent of our presidents succeeded because of the deaths of those who chose them mostly out of political expediency to be forgotten number twos. Will we luck out in the future with a surprising Harry Truman or with a wrecker like Andrew Johnson? In God we trust. But read Jared Cohen.”
—Sidney Blumenthal, author of A Self-Made Man and Wrestling with His Angels

Thanks to Jared Cohen. The stories of eight accidental presidents are now all in one grand place. Cohen deserves a medal for performing this public service.”
—Patricia O’Toole, author of The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and The World He Made

History is the most contingent of enterprises, and little has proven more contingent than the nature of the American presidency. In this eloquent and often surprising book, Jared Cohen explores how fate has shaped the office–and all of us. In an age marked by widespread concerns about the character of the person who reaches the pinnacle (by whatever means), Cohen’s study is illuminating and resonant.”
—Jon Meacham, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels

This is a fascinating prism through which to look at American history … It is a well written fast-paced book that is filled with interesting facts and insights. Anyone who is interested in American history will delight in it.”
—Fareed Zakaria, CNN

A deep dive into the terms of eight former presidents is chock-full of political hijinks—and déjà vu … chapters flick at familiar themes: trust busting, scandal wrangling, and brawls that read like highbrow TMZ … The book is also a reminder that, when it came to succession, America’s founders basically winged it.”
Vanity Fair

One of the many insights to be found in Accidental Presidents is that history unfolds in death as well as in life.”
—The Wall Street Journal

Pleasant reading for politics junkies, especially those keen on reading the political winds
Kirkus Reviews

Illuminating…[a] genuinely interesting history on a topic that has never been addressed in this depth.”

Colorful…clear and engaging…confidently told.”
Publishers Weekly

Accidental Presidents is a compelling and comprehensive book of history that shines a light on unexplored corners of our history … In his typically engaging and gripping style, Jared Cohen tells us why it is not easy to amend the Constitution and why it should be amended. He explores the complexities of the American Constitution and politics as a gifted story-teller … It will resonate for a long time to come among the scholars and students of American history.”
Washington Review of Books

While much is known about the two successful accidentals, Roosevelt and Truman, and the partially-successful Lyndon, the latter Johnson, much of the book’s treasure lies in earlier, lesser known accidentals.”
New York Journal of Books

Every single sentence in this books counts.”
—Fox News

In the Media


Books by Jared Cohen

Accidental Presidents
Speaking of America
Life After Power

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