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Mara A. Cohen-Marks


Dr. Mara Cohen-Marks is a Senior Fellow at the Center, focusing on political, demographic, and economic trends transforming urban America. Her scholarship on topics such as housing, community redevelopment, racial and ethnic politics, public opinion, and local elections appears in leading peer-reviewed and professional journals including Urban Affairs Review, PS, Public Opinion QuarterlyPolitical Research Quarterly, and National Civic Review. Her media appearances and interviews include Reuters, the BBC, NPR and other international and local print and broadcast outlets.  She has also published Op-Eds in the Los Angeles Business Journal, on the New America Media wire service, and in other media outlets.  She speaks frequently before civic, public, and private industry groups.
Dr. Cohen-Marks is a former Assistant Professor in LMU’s Urban Studies Program. In her previous work with the Center, she has helped in the design, implementation, and analysis of voter surveys and public opinion polls. Prior to joining the faculty at LMU, Dr. Cohen-Marks was post-doctoral fellow at the University of Southern California and at the Environmental Careers Organization/Irvine Foundation’s Sustainable Communities Leadership Program, where she contributed to a report for the California State Assembly’s Commission on State and Local Finance.

She has served as a consultant for several local organizations, such as Los Angeles World Airports and the Southern California Association of Governments. Active in community organizations, Dr. Cohen-Marks serves on the boards of directors of One LA-IAF and of Peace Over Violence, and she was a founding board member of Hollywood Arts, a non-profit academy for homeless youth and teens in Los Angeles.

Dr. Cohen-Marks received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA and her B.A. in Political Science (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude) from Colorado College.