Who We Are
Biography of Allan Y. Cohen, Ph. D.
Allan Y. Cohen received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Harvard University, going on to teaching and clinical positions at Harvard, the University of California, and the John F. Kennedy University. Licensed as a clinician in three states, Dr. Cohen began a career in substance abuse treatment, prevention and research lasting four decades. One of the originators of the Alternatives to Drugs concept and innovative evaluator of prevention programs, he has contributed to the maturation of the substance abuse prevention field, both in practice and in research.
Cohen co-founded and directed for 20 years the Pacific Institute for Research & Evaluation, one of the nation's leading nonprofit institutions specializing in substance abuse prevention research and program development. Based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, his work at the Institute spans national and local prevention projects involving settings such as schools, community agencies, minority health partnerships, faith-based organizations, and coalitions.
Dr. Cohen served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Primary Prevention (JPP) and continues as an editorial reviewer for both JPP and The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. His book Understanding Drug Use: An Adult's Guide to Drugs and the Young was a breakthrough volume in the 1970's. More recently, he co-wrote monographs on the selection of prevention strategies, the use of volunteers in prevention, and techniques for community mobilization. His work with The Century Council has included advisory participation in the planning and review of education-based initiatives and, with Dr. David Anderson of George Mason University, the supervision of an evaluation of the Alcohol 101 Initiative.
Dr. Cohen has served as a consultant on alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse issues to the White House, several government agencies, the U.S. Army and Navy, and private or governmental bodies in England, India, Brazil, Australia and Kenya. In recent years, he was invited by the American Psychological Association (APA) to help create APA's first national competency test of psychologists treating substance abusers. Honors earned include the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Directors Career Achievement Award, an award for lifetime achievement by SADD, and from HHS a "Millenium Award" on National Parents Day for his work with parents' groups fighting substance abuse.