Dan Cohen, Executive Director, Digital Public Libraries of America

Dan Cohen, Executive Director, Digital Public Libraries of America

Dan Cohen is the founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America, which is bringing together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and making them freely available to the world.

Until 2013, Cohen was Professor of History in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University and the Director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. His personal research has focused on the impact of new media and technology on all aspects of knowledge, from the nature of digitized resources to twenty-first century research techniques and software tools to the changing landscape of communication and publication.

Cohen is co-author of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), author of Equations from God: Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), and co-editor of Hacking the Academy (University of Michigan Press, 2012). He has published articles and book chapters on new media, the history of mathematics and religion, the teaching of history, scholarly communication, and the future of the humanities in a digital age in journals such as the Journal of American History, Victorian Studies, and Rethinking History. His work and thought has been featured frequently in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Times Higher Education.

Cohen was an inaugural recipient, in 2006, of the American Council of Learned Societies’ Digital Innovation Fellowship. In 2011, he received the Frederick G. Kilgour Award from the American Library Association, and in 2016 he was given the LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication for Continuing Education in Library and Information Science. In 2012, he was named one of the top “tech innovators” in academia by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

At the Digital Public Library of America, Cohen has led initiatives that maximize access to shared culture, including Open E-books, a program with President Obama and nonprofit partners that provides thousands of award-winning ebooks for free to millions of in-need children. At the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, he oversaw projects ranging from PressForward to the September 11 Digital Archive to the popular Zotero research tool.

Cohen received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton, a master’s from Harvard, and his doctorate from Yale.