Gary Cohn was born in Cleveland on August 27, 1960, and raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Cohn studied at Gilmour Academy, and received his bachelor’s degree from American University’s Kogod School of Business.
Cohn was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs – a position he held from 2006 until 2016. Joining Goldman Sachs in 1990, he held a number of positions including being a member of the Board of Directors. His severance package at Goldman Sachs amounted to $285 million.
On January 20, 2017, Cohn took office as Director of the National Economic Council (NEC) in President Donald Trump’s administration, a position which did not require Congressional confirmation. By February 11, 2017, the Wall Street Journal described Cohn as an “economic-policy powerhouse” and the New York Times called him Trump’s “go-to figure on matters related to jobs, business and growth.” With the confirmation of Trump’s December 12, 2016, nominee for Secretary of Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, being held back by Congressional hearings, Cohn filled in the “personnel vacuum” and pushed “ahead on taxes, infrastructure, financial regulation and replacing health-care law.”As the chief economic advisor for President Donald Trump, Cohn managed the economic policy agenda and led the program to promote US economic growth. In response to differences in opinion on tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, Cohn resigned from the Trump administration on March 6, 2018.
Since leaving the White House, Cohn has been active on the boards of Hoyos Integrity, Starling, Machine Zone, Abyrx, Spring Labs, Pallas Advisors and Indago.
Very active in the philanthropic field, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, serves on the Board of Overseers of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and is a member of the Board of Trustees of NYU Langone Health. In 2009, the Hillel International building at Kent State University was named the Cohn Jewish Student Center in recognition of a gift from Cohn and his wife.
A graduate of American University, he gave back to the school with two endowments.
He lives in New York with his wife and three daughters.