Jennifer Cohen was appointed USC’s director of athletics on August 21, 2023. She holds the Charles Griffin Cale Director of Athletics’ Chair.
Cohen is one of the country’s most established athletic directors and is the first woman to lead the Trojans’ athletics department. Cohen arrived at USC with three decades of intercollegiate athletics experience, most recently serving as the athletic director at Washington since 2016.
During her tenure at Washington, the Huskies saw incredible success on the field of competition across all sports. In total, Washington won 19 Pac-12 titles, went to three consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games in football, a Sweet Sixteen appearance in women’s basketball, four Women’s College World Series appearances in softball, one College World Series appearance in baseball, was the NCAA runner-up in men’s soccer, won two national titles in women’s rowing and one in men’s rowing, and appeared in the College Football Playoff.
While serving as athletic director, Cohen negotiated Washington’s 10-year, $190 million apparel contract with Adidas in 2019 and led her student-athletes to thrive in the classroom as Washington posted its highest-ever, department-wide NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) in the 2022-23 academic year.
As one of her last acts as the Huskies’ athletic director, Cohen was instrumental in leading Washington’s successful effort to join the Big Ten Conference in 2024.
Cohen joined Washington as an assistant director of development in 1998, before moving to the university’s central development office to focus on fundraising efforts on behalf of the office of undergraduate education. She also spent time with Washington’s regional gifts program before returning to athletics to oversee the department’s major gifts program.
Before arriving at Washington, Cohen held a variety of roles in intercollegiate athletics administration at Pacific Lutheran, Puget Sound, and Texas Tech.
A native of Arcadia, California, Cohen received her bachelor’s degree from San Diego State and her master’s degree in physical education with an emphasis in sports administration from Pacific Lutheran.