FIRST, the Manchester not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen that hosts robotics and Lego competitions for students, appointed Lawrence Cohen its next president.
Cohen says he will work to advance the organization’s strategic objectives and to continue scaling FIRST programs to make hands-on learning opportunities available to even more students around the world – especially in underserved and underrepresented communities.
“I am honored and thrilled to join this inspiring and game-changing organization, which I’ve seen have an enormous impact in my own community and around the world,” Cohen said. “Now more than ever we must continue advancing the mission of FIRST by helping young people across the globe gain the skills they need to thrive. The world is changing rapidly, and I believe the next generation of innovators and problem-solvers – like the millions of students who have participated in FIRST programs – will be the key to our collective long-term success and prosperity.”
Cohen joins FIRST after more than 30 years in various leadership roles. He has served in executive management capacities at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and UBS, and was most recently Partner and Global Head of Operations and Technology at AllianceBernstein. He also served for nearly a decade on the board of directors for NYC FIRST and on its executive advisory board.
“I’m impressed and enthusiastic about the remarkable wealth of both technical and management experience Larry brings to this organization,” said Kamen. “He is joining FIRST at a time of growth and success, thanks to the hard work of our community and the outstanding leadership of current president, Donald Bossi, who has been a tireless champion for the past six years.”
The board of directors formed a search committee last July, following Bossi’s announcement of his planned retirement. Cohen’s appointment is effective December 3.