Jay M. Cohen was commissioned in 1968 upon graduation from the United States Naval Academy. His early Navy assignments included service on conventional and nuclear submarines including commanding the USS HYMAN G. RICKOVER (SSN 709).
He has served on the U.S. Atlantic Fleet as a senior member of the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board. From 1991 to 1993, he commanded the submarine tender USS L.Y. SPEAR (AS 36).
Later, he reported to the Secretary of the Navy as Deputy Chief of Navy Legislative Affairs and then reported to the Joint Staff as Deputy Director for Operations responsible to the President and DoD leaders for strategic weapons release authority.
He has served as Director Navy Y2K Project Office responsible for transitioning all Navy computer systems into the new century and later became the 20th Chief of Naval Research. He served during war as the Department of the Navy Chief Technology Officer. Responsible for the $2B+/year Navy and Marine Corps Science and Technology (S&T) Program,Cohen coordinated investments with other U.S. and international S&T providers to rapidly meet war fighter combat needs. Rear Admiral Cohen retired from the Navy in 2006.
Unanimously confirmed by the US Senate, Cohen was sworn in as Under Secretary for Science & Technology at the Department of Homeland Security in August 2006.
Since leaving government, Rear Admiral Cohen is now a principal in The Chertoff Group, serves on numerous corporate boards and as CEO of JayMCohen LLC is an independent consultant for science and technology in support of domestic and international defense, homeland security/cyber security and energy issues/solutions. Additionally, he is on medical device and cancer treatment boards and has served on a US National Science Foundation Advisory Panel and in 2018 participated in a SecDef directed effort to identify CRITICAL Defense base infrastructure and enhance base security and power resiliency and reliability with DoD and DoE.