photo of Chelsea Blackburn Cohen

As Executive Fellow for Community Engagement in the Office of the President at Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Blackburn Cohen builds and maintains relationships with key partners in Pittsburgh and the greater region, including non-profits, community development organization, small businesses, and local government officials. A central component of her role is to collaborate on the rollout of strategic initiatives that impact the community and to harmonize and evaluate activities with a lens toward ensuring CMU’s engagements are equitable and inclusive. 

Prior to her role at CMU, Chelsea worked to build a democratic governance structure for a network of representatives from over 200 higher education institutions and associations throughout North America in her role at the Scholars at Risk Network at New York University, where she also oversaw a Mellon-funded research fellowship for early career academics studying academic freedom. Originally driven by the vision of the Wisconsin Idea–that the benefits of the university should reach every individual in the state–Chelsea received a PhD in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

She serves on the Advisory Board for Partners for Campus-Community Engagement (PCCE), formerly Campus Compact of New York and Pennsylvania, is an active volunteer with the Greenfield Community Association’s Public Space Committee, and a former Voluntary Zoning Officer for the Borough of Forrest Hills, Pennsylvania.

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