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Remembering Jared Cohon

Photo credits: CMU

On March 16th, 2024, Carnegie Mellon University former President, Jared Cohon, passed away at the age of 76. 

Serving as CMU President from 1997 to 2013, Cohon played a pivotal role in launching the CMU Portugal partnership. In October 2006, Cohon signed the original agreement and, during the first seven years of the Program, made frequent visits to Portugal, demonstrating his support for this international collaboration. In 2011, when the first phase concluded, he was one of the main advocates for the renewal of the partnership.

“Jerry was an enthusiastic supporter of the CMU Portugal Program since the very beginning, traveled close to a dozen times to Portugal, and during his 7 years on our Board never failed to attend all our biannual meetings. Over the years, he interacted with many rectors, deans, and faculty from Portuguese universities, as well as our students and corporate sponsors. We were fortunate to have Jerry’s counsel during our formative years and our partnership is much stronger and strategic because of that.”, shares José M.F. Moura, CMU Portugal Director at CMU. 

Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian issued a statement on March 16th, extending his condolences on Cohon’s death: This is a devastating loss for our CMU community, for Pittsburgh and the nation. Jerry Cohon’s extraordinary and humble leadership, brilliant mind, unyielding energy and unimpeachable integrity are the hallmarks of a legacy that will continue to impact generations to come—both here in the region as well as far beyond. I was honored to have called him a colleague, mentor and friend and am deeply grateful for his wise counsel over the years, and for the many ways he served the CMU community. We extend our deepest condolences to his beloved family and many friends during this difficult time.”

Jared Cohon academic journey started at Johns Hopkins, where he held administrative positions from 1973 to 1992. He later assumed the position of dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale until 1997, when he assumed the Presidency of  Carnegie Male University until 2013.  In 2014 and 2015, he co-chaired the Commission to Review and Evaluate the National Energy Laboratories, followed by his chairmanship of the National Academies Board on Energy and Environment Systems from 2016 to 2022.

In honor of Jared Cohon’s memory, the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program community pays tribute to CMU President Emeritus extraordinary legacy.