Former Secretary of Defense

Former Secretary of Defense

William Cohen

4.8.2008

William Cohen

After more than 20 years in the Congress, William Cohen became Secretary of Defense under then-President Clinton in 1997. His selection marked the first time in modern U.S. history that a former elected official from a president’s opposing party was named to the Cabinet. As secretary, Cohen helped stop a decline in defense budgets, modernize the American military and reverse recruitment and retention problems throughout the Armed Forces. After leaving the Pentagon in 2001, he founded a business consulting firm called The Cohen Group which provides global business consulting services and advice on tactical and strategic opportunities in virtually every market. Cohen is also an accomplished writer having written and published 11 works of fiction and non-fiction during his political career.

Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen discuss a memoir he recently coauthored with his wife Janet Langhart Cohen entitled "Love in Black and White: A Memoir of Race, Religion, and Romance" which focuses on overcoming social prejudices due to differing racial and religious backgrounds. Cohen, who is white, discusses the changes in attitude on race while intertwining the experiences that he and his wife, who is African-American, shared into his evaluation. Cohen also shares memories of his experiences serving as Secretary of Defense under then-President Clinton.