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Cynthia B. Green

Cindy is the Technical Director of the Certificate of Achievement in Service Efforts and Accomplishments Reporting Program at the national Association of Government Accountants. She promotes state and local governments to publicly report on their accomplishments and shortcomings using public resources, evaluates these performance reports and awards those governments that produce outstanding ones.
Cindy is also on the faculty of the New School University’s Milano Graduate School for Management and Urban Policy, teaching public policy analysis.

Cindy’s career champions the notion that to make sound policy choices and provide effective public services, elected officials, decision makers and stakeholders must prepare and disseminate accurate, transparent, decision-useful information.

After the great privilege of training at Cornell under the late Professor Urie Bronfenbrenner, Cindy pursued her interests in social science and policy by gaining a master’s degree in public policy from the New School. This led to a position with Columbia University’s Conservation for Human Resources led by Eli Ginsberg, where she developed innovative approaches to pressing social policy issues facing New York State, including housing the homeless and providing health care for the uninsured.

In 1983, Cindy joined New York City’s Citizens Budget Commission to found a state-oriented watchdog to complement their city-focused operation. As Vice President and spokesperson, she blazed a path for debt and budget reform, providing objective information behind New York’s arcane budget machinations. Concurrently, she enrolled in New York University’s doctoral program in public finance at the Wagner School of Public Service, studying at night, and received a Ph.D. in 1993.

In 1997, the Financial Accounting Foundation appointed Cindy to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, the independent organization that sets the standards for how the 89,000 American state and local governments must report on their finances and operations. As GASB’s first user of governmental financial statements, during her ten-year term, she championed greater transparency in financial reporting and the reporting of service performance.

At Cornell, Cindy serves on the Dean’s College of Human Ecology Advisory Council, is the co-chair of our class Major Gifts Committee, and previously served as treasurer of the President’s Council of Cornell Women. She is a board member of Community Access and the assistant treasurer of the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy.
Cindy resides in Manhattan with her husband, Lee Cohen, Managing Director at Oppenheimer & Co., and their children: Claudia Cohen, Cornell ’09, Brooklyn Law School ’12; Ben Cohen, Syracuse ’13; and Aliza Cohen (13 years old).


At the time of the 35th reunion, Cindy recently completed a study for The Pew Charitable Trusts that assessed whether and how states use cost-benefit analyses to inform policy debates and formulate difficult decisions, identified exemplary approaches, and developed models for states to adopt. Daughter Claudia graduated Brooklyn Law in ’12, son Ben graduated Syracuse in ’13, and daughter Aliza starts Cornell this fall.