Dr. Karna L. Cohen is the Director of Research in Countering Violent Extremism for DI’s Bangladesh Obirodh Road to Tolerance Project. As the Director of Research, Dr. Cohen is the USAID expert and focal point for information, theory, research, and best practices on Countering Violent Extremism in Bangladesh. Dr. Cohen leads primary research and directs local and international partners to conduct assessments of violent extremism in Bangladesh. Prior to this position, Dr. Cohen was the Principal Investigator for the New Approaches to Conflict Resolution in East/Central Africa for Tulane University where she identified gaps in conflict resolution programming among ideological non-state armed groups. Dr. Cohen also served as the Vice President for Fontheim International, an international Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Public Policy Firm. Dr. Cohen has two decades of experience working innovatively on how the private, public, nonprofit, and security sectors can work both independently, and in concert, to promote growth and stability in developing economies. Dr. Cohen is a regular advisor to executive clients at the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and the U.S. Department of Defense on subject matters including Security Sector Reform, Conflict Prevention, Response, and Stabilization, Mass Atrocities Prevention, Violent Extremism, and more. Dr. Cohen has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America.
Dr. Cohen holds Bachelor’s Degrees in History and Anthropology; a Master of Science in International Development with a focus on Conflict Studies; and a Doctorate of Philosophy in International Development focused on Conflict Studies.