News Release

April 30, 2013

Contact: Jeanne Doherty

Public Affairs Officer

(202) 502-4502



Adds Noah D. Bookbinder as Legislative and Public Affairs Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. ― The United States Sentencing Commission announced the appointment of Kenneth P. Cohen as its new Staff Director, succeeding Judith W. Sheon. Cohen has served as the Commission’s General Counsel since February 2007 and previously served as its Director of Legislative Affairs. His appointment becomes effective on June 2, 2013.

“Ken Cohen has provided invaluable service to the Sentencing Commission in his sixteen years with the Commission, and the commissioners and I are pleased that he has accepted this important position,” Judge Patti B. Saris, Chair of the Commission, said. “There are many exciting opportunities for the Commission in the coming years as it works to achieve the purposes of the Sentencing Reform Act, and we hope to have a full slate of commissioners in the very near future. I can think of no one better suited to lead our excellent staff in these times than Ken.”

Cohen graduated with highest distinction from the University of Virginia in 1988 and cum laude from the Harvard Law School in 1993. Previously he served as a credit analyst for Chemical Bank in New York, and he was an associate at the Washington D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling from 1993 to 1997. He also served at the Commission as an attorney advisor to then-commissioner Judge Deanell Tacha, and he served on detail as counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter from 2005 to 2006.

The Commission also last month added Noah D. Bookbinder as Director of Legislative and Public Affairs. Bookbinder previously served as Chief Counsel for Criminal Justice for the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he worked from 2005 to 2013, and as a Trial Attorney for the United States Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section from 1999 to 2005. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University in 1995 and with distinction from Stanford Law School in 1998 and served as a law clerk to United States District Judge Douglas Woodlock.

“Noah Bookbinder’s experience on the Senate Judiciary Committee staff and in the criminal justice system will help the Commission work effectively with Congress and the public in furthering its mission,” Saris said.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission, an independent agency in the judicial branch of the federal government, was organized in 1985 to develop a national sentencing policy for the federal courts. The resulting sentencing guidelines structure the courts’ sentencing discretion to help ensure that similar offenders who commit similar offenses receive similar sentences.

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