Debra Cohn

  • Lecturer in Law

Debra L.W. Cohn is an experienced attorney with executive legal, policy, and management expertise in nonprofit, public, and private sectors.  Cohn was a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and for Judge James L. Oakes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  She served as U.S. Department of Justice Special Counsel for Health Care Fraud, New York Deputy Attorney General for the Criminal Division, overseeing the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and Deputy Attorney General for Policy.  Prior to that, as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Cohn specialized in affirmative civil enforcement.  In those positions, she led federal and state investigations, litigation, and prosecution of quality of care, patient abuse, civil rights, and health care fraud violations allegedly committed by physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmaceutical companies, adult homes, and programs for institutionalized persons. She also has represented health care providers in litigation and administrative proceedings. Most recently, she served as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Met Council, a New York antipoverty not-for-profit organization providing social services, affordable housing, and home care.  Cohn also has worked in-house at a privately-held group of media and marketing companies.  

Cohn received her Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law where she was a Root- Tilden Scholar.  She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard-Radcliffe College and was awarded a Michael C. Rockefeller Fellowship.