Statement from Rich Fitzgerald, SPC Executive Director and Former Allegheny County Executive, on the Passing of Jared L. “Jerry” Cohon, Former President of Carnegie Mellon University

“I was deeply saddened to learn of Jerry Cohon’s passing over the weekend. Jerry served as the President of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) for 16 years and our region was transformed during this time—in large part because of his leadership and forward thinking.

“His influence on our region’s economy cannot be understated. Jerry was consistently focused on innovation, attracting talented students from across the world, and he proactively looked for ways to partner with the private and public sectors.

“Jerry knew that collaboration among our community stakeholders is our region’s greatest strength. His working partnership with former University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) President Mark Nordenberg is a perfect example. Jerry and Mark came together to spearhead entities like the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse, Pittsburgh Robotics Foundry, and Pittsburgh Life Sciences. With CMU’s focus on robotics and AI and Pitt’s focus on life sciences, Jerry and Mark were able to bring the most talented students and professionals from each of their respective schools to forge new ground. These bold strategies resulted in both universities securing competitive funding and leading economic development partnerships. Simply put, Jerry’s pioneering mindset helped put Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania on the global map.

“I know I join many in saying that our region is deeply grateful for Jerry’s leadership and the positive impact he made will be felt for generations to come. I want to extend my heartfelt thoughts and sympathies to his family at this difficult time.”