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David Cohen, who is now retiring, has served as chair of Penn's Board of Trustees since 2009. Credit: Katie Zhao

Penn's outgoing Board of Trustees chair and top Comcast executive David L. Cohen could be named the United States’ next ambassador to the United Kingdom, according to a report from Politico. 

Politico reported that diplomatic officials from the U.K. believe Cohen is the frontrunner for the  position despite another report from The Times of London released this weekend that Cindy McCain, Democratic organizer and wife of late Republican Sen. John McCain, is also in the running. A friend of Cohen’s said Cohen expressed interest in becoming the nation's ambassador to the U.K. or Secretary of Commerce, according to Politico.

After serving as chair of the Board since 2009, Penn announced on Nov. 19 that Cohen will be retiring from the position and will be succeeded by Scott Bok, 1981 College of Arts and Sciences and Wharton School graduate and investment banker, on July 1, 2021. 

Regarded as a widely influential local figure, Cohen hosted President-elect Joe Biden’s kickoff election campaign fundraiser at his home in April 2019 and was one of Philadelphia's top donors who co-hosted another fundraiser for Biden in September that year. He has also gained prominence in local politics, eventually becoming one of the most influential lobbyists in the U.S.  

While Cohen has helped fundraise millions for former President Barack Obama's and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaigns, he has also donated large sums to Republicans, according to The Associated Press. Over the past decade, Federal Election Commission records show that Cohen has donated more than $400,000 to campaigns of both House and Senate Republicans. 

Cohen previously served as Senior Executive Vice President of Comcast, but stepped away from his operational roles in 2019. 

He has also served as the chief of staff under former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell and is the Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, according to Philadelphia Magazine. While working under Rendell, Cohen helped establish a team of high-ranking city employees which convinced Penn to pay PILOTs, or Payments in Lieu of Taxes, in 1995.

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