Baltimore, MD - Apr. 4, 2016 -  The Board of Directors of Jewish Community Services announced that it has selected Joan Grayson Cohen to become the agency’s next Executive Director.

Ms. Cohen, who is currently the Director of Economic Services at Jewish Community Services, has been a staff member of JCS and Jewish Family Services, one of its founding agencies, for 22 years. During this tenure, Ms. Cohen was responsible for the creation and management of a diverse array of programs and services. She will succeed Barbara Levy Gradet, who announced earlier this year that she is stepping down on June 30th after 12 years as Executive Director.

On behalf of the JCS board of directors, President Ronald Attman said, “The Board is elated that Joan has accepted our offer to lead the agency. Joan is a proven leader who has earned the respect of the board and of the JCS staff through all of the good work that she has done on behalf of the people in our community. We are fortunate to have such an accomplished and visionary leader to guide us into the future. I also want to thank the members of the search committee, chaired by Allison Magat, for the many hours of conscientious work that they did leading to this excellent result.”

Ms. Cohen holds a JD from the University of Maryland School of Law and an MSW from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker certified by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners. Ms. Cohen and her husband are active members of Beth El Congregation and they have 3 adult daughters. In 2009, Ms. Cohen was awarded the Daniel Thursz Distinguished Jewish Communal Service award by the Darrell Friedman Institute.

In accepting the role of Executive Director, Joan Cohen said, “I am honored to be selected for the JCS Executive Director position. During my tenure, I have experienced firsthand the impact that JCS services and supports have had on the lives of thousands of individuals and families. The key to the success of the agency has been the outstanding commitment of the Board and Staff along with the tremendous support of The Associated and the community. I am proud that, in this new role, I will have the opportunity to help sustain and further the mission of the agency.”

Allison Magat, JCS First Vice President and Chair of the Search Committee said, “Our extensive nationwide search and very intense candidate review process enabled us to meet many strong candidates from across our community and our country. It was exciting to find our next Executive Director from within our own agency.”

Ms. Cohen will begin in the position of Executive Director on July 1.