Brian Cohen’s 15+ years of experience uniquely cuts across politics and public safety. He’s a consultant for prominent trade associations, billion-dollar companies, and non-profits building deep and diverse pipelines with law enforcement, attorneys general, elected officials and other crucial stakeholders. Whether it’s gaming/sports betting, CBD and consumer packaged goods, e-cigarettes, or piracy Cohen has built out initiatives, coalitions and advisory boards shaping discussions in DC, state capitals, local communities, and the public discourse.
Cohen’s unique experience and approach will protect a client’s brand and business through all hazards whether public safety, pandemic, or political – it’s a 360-degree way to approach risk management, external relations, and crisis response.
15-years experience in government relations, public safety, coalition building and political operations
Prior to opening Cohen Strategic Alliances in 2018 he was an executive with American Gaming Association where he created the industry “Stop Illegal Gambling – Play It Safe” initiative, and the high-profile American Sports Betting Coalition (ASBC). Prior to AGA, Cohen was Director of External State Government Affairs for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) where he led efforts to combat piracy and fought for enhanced production tax incentives across the country.
He has also served as the Associate Director for Intergovernmental & Public Liaison at the U.S. Department of Justice and chief state liaison for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
He's a veteran of two presidential campaigns.
Battled tested in high pressured environments like the casino and movie industries and Departments of Justice and Homeland Security
Cohen graduated from Groton School then Hamilton College. He is engaged in a variety of charitable efforts supporting veterans and health/wellness. He plays in the Congressional Hockey Challenge.
When the stakes are high, trusted by high profile industries to represent them before attorneys general, FBI, and DHS
Don’t get stuck constantly being reactive. See around corners. The ability to anticipate quickly, precisely, and with confidence is the game-changer you need.
Win the shift, win the period – and win the game. Cohen will customize every relationship to the client’s needs. He’s anything but a cookie-cutter consultant. All clients are unique and each day is different for each client. Cohen believes in constant flexibility and a layered approach :
- Focus on the “always changing” present moment – immediate needs, win the shift
- Develop milestones and build out sustainable platforms, win the period
- Have a clear sense of what success looks like in the long term, win the game
Be ready to play offense and defense. This means preparedness, risk management, crisis response, creativity, and vision to seize opportunities. By hiring Cohen, a political swiss army knife, you will win each shift; you will win each period, and you will win the game.
Coalitions and Partnerships
To effectively advocate for or against a policy, cause, or action requires not just a sound argument but an army of supporters with varying viewpoints and perspectives. Don't fight a battle or war alone; build partnerships and alliances to enhance your echo chamber.
Law Enforcement Liaison
Public safety affects every industry and person. Be a good corporate citizen and build your pipelines of communication with law enforcement; enhance your policy and business objectives with credible partners.
Advisory Boards: Creating Credibility
Trust and credibility. You need it. Find the best validators to provide the bullet proof vest against criticism. Find the best messengers for you; pull together a Board that can provide invaluable advice and counsel.
Political Audits / Intelligence Gathering
Intelligence is critical to making informed decisions. Whether it's the military, a first responder, a government official, a business, or a citizen, we all plan and act in strategic ways when we understand the environments and circumstances that surround us.
Public Speaking/Presentation Prep
Don’t waste valuable opportunities in front of marquee audiences. It’s a cutthroat environment to win over attention. Make an impact immediately. Be mindful and politically astute. Cut out the noise. Be ready to pivot midstream. Cohen has briefed cabinet members, presented to Boards of Directors of billion-dollar companies, and delivered remarks to rooms full of attorneys general, sheriffs, and police chiefs. Each opportunity/audience is unique and requires a strategic approach. Offer training and preparation for CEOs, C-suite, or companywide.
Understanding the players and process in government is essential. Timing is everything. Build your government relations program around your objectives, your assets, and your short and long-term goals. Plan ahead but be nimble. Good politics requires good judgement, decisive actions, and strategic alliances.
Educational Initiatives / Corporate Branding
Make your idea bigger. Make a series of one-offs become an initiative. Integrate disparate events into a global message; perception shapes policy. Your brand matters. Know your audience and your strengths, be mindful of your vulnerabilities and create the best narrative of you that you can.
Risk Management and Crisis Response
Protect your business and brand from ALL hazards: Physical, cyber, and political. Risk management means preparedness. Whether it’s a public safety challenge, a pandemic, or political pressure. Crisis response is equally as important. How you respond to protect the business and brand will determine your resiliency. Cohen helps clients navigate dicey issues under the spotlights of media and regulators. His affiliates have run federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies/departments; there’s a deep bench to provide thought leadership and tactical operations.
Attorneys General are unique entities in the field of elected officials. They routinely shape and inform policy and business interests at the federal and state levels. Be a proactive partner. Have a seat at the table. As a member of the Attorney General Alliance Cybersecurity Working Group I work closely with states’ top law enforcement officers/chief legal advisers on critical emerging issues that affect consumer protection, public safety, and the changing landscape of technology.
American Sports Betting Coalition (ASBC)
Conceived of the idea to bring diverse and credible stakeholders together under one umbrella to collaborate and advocate for change to the status quo in sports betting. Recruited law enforcement, state and local elected officials, attorneys general, consumer groups, and thought leaders to propel action through legislative platforms, the Supreme Court, and in the public purview.
Motion Picture Production Tax Incentives – Uniquely Educating Policy Makers
Led efforts to educate policymakers in certain states on the economic, tourism, and overall benefits to film production in their state vis-à-vis production tax incentive. Layered research and numbers with unique opportunities to see firsthand the trickle effect to jobs and revenue and interface with talent.
Illegal Gambling Advisory Board – Law Enforcement Summit
Created an initiative for the casino industry to highlight its efforts to combat illegal gambling and partner with law enforcement. Through the "Stop Illegal Gambling - Play it Safe" initiative recruited and directed an elite advisory board consisting of former leadership from federal, state and local law enforcement. Organized a law enforcement summit with participation from national law enforcement agencies and organizations across the country and delivered a substantive after-action report to address illegal sports betting to be used for future education and advocacy.
Consumer Brands Association Coalition for Smart CBD Regulation
CBD has exploded on the scene but without proper regulation and safeguards to protect consumers’ health and safety. Created a coalition and unique platforms and partners to propel action in Washington to ensure necessary safeguards for surveillance, enforcement, and science for a safe and sustainable product for consumers and trusted brands.