Penguin Speakers Bureau

Jared Cohen

Director of Google Ideas and Author of Children of Jihad: A Young American's Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East

Biography

Jared Cohen is author of the book Children of Jihad: A Young American’s Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East. He received his B.A. from Stanford University and his M.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. While at Oxford, he spent substantial amounts of time in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestinian refugee camps, where he looked at youth in the Islamic world and how they view themselves and their changing role in the world after 9/11. In these travels, Cohen has interviewed members of Hezbollah, Fatah, and a variety of other militant groups. He has also traveled extensively throughout twenty-four countries in Africa looking at issues related to conflict resolution, genocide, and democracy.

Jared is also author of One Hundred Days of Silence: America and the Rwanda Genocide. Additional publications include “The Passive Revolution: Is Political Resistance Dead or Alive in Iran” (Hoover Digest, 2005), “Iran’s Young Opposition” (SAIS Review, 2006), and “Diverting the Radicalization Track” (Policy Review, Spring 2009).

Jared frequently appears in the media: He has been featured in The New Yorker and has appeared on The Colbert Report, CNN, ABC, Headline News, Current TV, NPR, FOX News, MSNBC, BBC, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, and a variety of other TV and radio programs both domestic and international. He is frequently asked to speak at domestic and international conferences hosted by think tanks, the public sector, the military, the private sector, and foundations. He has also served as a judge at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Cohen is fluent in Swahili and has studied Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, Maa, Kilarusa, and Korean. In his spare time, Cohen paints, draws, and sculpts. Over the years, he has sold his work in galleries and to private buyers.

From 2006 to 2010, Jared Cohen worked on the Secretary of State’s policy planning staff, where he focused on counter-terrorism, public diplomacy, and some Middle East/North Africa issues. In 2010, Cohen joined Google Ideas, which combines the model of a think tank with the resources of a private company. He will also serve as an Adjunct Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, focusing on counter-terrorism, counter-radicalization, and 21st century statecraft.

Speaking Topics

  • The Next 5 Billion: Life in Our New Connected Age

    Within the next decade, approximately five billion new people will go online. "The next five billion," as they're being called, are vastly different from the current two billion who populate the digital sphere, however. They will come from the most problematic parts of the world - regions wrought with political and economic instability - and will require drastically different customer service than the current "first world" users. In this highly innovative and forward-thinking keynote - drawing on his book, co-authored with Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt, The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business - speaker Jared Cohen examines how this shift in online demographics will affect geo-politics and corporations, individuals and groups alike as businesses and financial institutions strive to understand the needs and attributes of their new customer base. This is a highly customizable presentation; Cohen will provide both a big-picture view of the coming decade as well as a granular view of the aspects that affect your organization most - whether it is the future of commerce and trade; the future of identity and citizenship; the future of revolution or terrorism; or the future of conflict and intervention.

  • Understanding Risks & Disruptions in the New Digital World

    Within the next decade, approximately five billion new people will go online. "The next five billion," as they're being called, are vastly different from the current two billion who populate the digital sphere, however. They will come from the most problematic parts of the world - regions wrought with political and economic instability - and will require drastically different customer service than the current "first world" users. In this highly innovative and forward-thinking keynote, Jared Cohen examines how this shift in online demographics will affect geo-politics and corporations, as businesses and financial institutions will want to understand the needs and attributes of this new customer base in order to effectively serve it.

  • Cyber Crimes of the Future

    We witnessed a physical attack on our nation on 9/11, as terrorists forcefully hijacked aircrafts and flew them into the Pentagon and Twin Towers. We've also experienced cyber attacks on our networks, as hackers on the other side of the world inserted malicious software into systems that operate some of our critical infrastructures. Now imagine a combined physical and cyber attack. In this gripping keynote, Jared Cohen looks to the future and predicts that in the new digital age, every state will have two foreign policies and two domestic policies: one for the physical world and one for the virtual world. And to make matters even more complicated, these physical and cyber policies will often contradict each other. Cohen shares his insights on what to expect in the future and what we can do to protect ourselves from coordinated physical and cyber attacks.

See More Topics

Videos

Jared Cohen speaks at the Woodrow Wilson School as part of the School's "Media and Public Policy" lecture series

More About This Speaker

Featured Book

Children of Jihad

"Seen through the eyes of the youth, and poignantly describing their hopes and despairs, Cohen provides a timely commentary on the troubled relations between America and the Middle East."

– Vali Nasr, author of How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future

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