Debbie Cohen is the Director of Finance and Operations of Explore Mars. She brings over 30 years of nonprofit and small business financial management/accounting experience to her position, including 14 years of experience in the financial services industry, over 13 years of experience in the administration of 501(c)(3) organizations, and 12 years of political/government experience. Her particular expertise is in the developmentand implementation of financial and operations systems for small nonprofit and for-profit business entities.
In addition to her duties as Director of Finance and Operations, Debbie also provides ongoing operations management assistance to the Explore Mars staff, and helps to coordinate operations and logistics for Explore Mars events, including serving as Deputy Co-Chair for the annual Humans to Mars Summit.
A dedicated advocate of space exploration and development, she worked with the National Space Society from 2010 through 2013, where her positions included Associate Director, Operations Manager for the 2012 InternationalSpace Development Conference in Washington, DC, Chair of the Public Relations Committee, and Public Relations Director for the 2011 International Space Development Conference in Huntsville, Alabama.
Professionally, Debbie owns a business management and financial consulting practice serving nonprofit and for-profit small businesses, sole proprietors and high-net-worth individuals. Her nonprofit clients have included public policy foundations, schools and grassroots advocacy organizations in Washington, DC. In the course of her nonprofit career, she held various senior management positions in the areas of administration, operations and development for three non-profit public policy foundations in Washington, DC and has served on the boards of trustees/directors of several more.
Debbie’s corporate finance experience includes serving as Director of Finance for Columbia Books & Information Services, the publisher of the original U.S. Congress Handbook, as well as numerous other products for the government relations, trade association and nonprofit business sectors; Chief Financial Officer/Finance & Operations Principal for Scully Capital Services, a boutique investment banking firm arranging finance structures for large-scale environmental, energy and transportation industry projects; and Chief of Staff for Clifford Brody & Associates, a Washington, DC firm providing legislative and regulatory consulting services to major US banks.
Her political experience includes serving as a Legislative Assistant for the Western Hemisphere Affairs Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, working on two presidential campaigns, and the aforementioned public policy organizations.