Skip to main content

Honoring the Johnson Countian of the Year 2015 : Mary Davidson Cohen

In March 2002, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige appointed of Mary Davidson Cohen as the secretary's regional representative (SRR) for Region VII.

Mary Davidson Cohen

As the secretary's regional representative, Cohen served as the department's liaison to state and local education agencies, public and private schools, colleges and universities, and elected representatives of local and state government organizations along with a variety of other education stakeholders.

Previously, Cohen served as assistant director of the William T. Kemper Foundation from 1993 to 1997. She was assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Kansas Regents Center from 1976 to 1992. Cohen began her education career as a teacher. She taught fifth, sixth and seventh grades in the Kansas City, Missouri, school district.

In a volunteer capacity, Cohen served as chair of the Board of Overseers for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, receiving the Coast Guard medal for meritorious public service. In addition, she served as president of the Overland Park Rotary Club and president of the Overland Park Rotary Club Foundation Board, and on the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Overland Park Planning Commission and the Johnson County Community College Foundation Executive Committee.

She served as chair of the World War I Museum Board of Directors and as interim president and CEO of the World War I Museum. Cohen serves on the governance board of the Children's Campus of Kansas City, Kansas. In addition, she was a member of the executive committee of Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area Board of Directors.