Learn more about Job Cohen
|Born||18 October 1947
Cohen was born in Haarlem to A.E. Cohen and Hetty Coster, who were members of the local liberal Jewish community. Cohen attended the Stedelijk Gymnasium Haarlem from 1960 to 1966, and obtained his law degree from the University of Groningen in 1971.
 Academic Career
Between 1 September 1971 and 1 September 1981, Job Cohen held a scientific position at the Bureau Research of Education at Leiden University. He obtained a doctorate from this university in June 1981.
 State Secretary
On 2 July 1993 he became State Secretary (Deputy Minister) of Education in the third cabinet of Ruud Lubbers. The term of this post expired after a year and Cohen returned to his post in Maastricht. However he remained as a member of the Eerste Kamer of parliament (the Upper House).
Cohen began a "sabbatical" year on 1 January 1998, but in February took on the function of interim-director of the VPRO, lasting until 15 August. On 13 August he resigned from the Eerste Kamer to take the position of State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice in the second cabinet of Wim Kok, dealing chiefly with immigration. In this capacity he was responsible for a new immigration law, intended to restrict entry of refugees to "genuine cases".
 Mayor of Amsterdam
At midnight on April 1, 2001, Cohen became the first public official to wed same-sex couples, following the passing of legislation opening up marriage to people of the same gender (see Same-sex marriage in the Netherlands).
Cohen was the Labour Party's candidate for prime minister in the Dutch general election, 2003, after the leader of the PvdA's campaign, Wouter Bos, said he wouldn't take a cabinet position if his party won. But the PvdA was narrowly defeated and Cohen remained the mayor of Amsterdam.
Time magazine awarded him the title "European Hero" in 2005.
On January 27 2006 Cohen announced he would be willing to serve a second term as mayor of Amsterdam. On July 12 2006 the municipality of Amsterdam almost unanimously (D66 opposed, being in favour of an elected mayor) supported Cohen to prolong his career as a mayor after January 15 2007 when his first term ends. The Queen's Commissioner H.C.J.L. Borghouts of North Holland will now have to offer this advice to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Cohen's politics towards ethnic minorities in Amsterdam is characterized in the slogan "keeping things together" (de boel bij elkaar houden). He is also known for his supposed soft stance on crime. On 2 May 2006 minister Rita Verdonk said that Amsterdam had become a banana republic, with a lax safety policy: she cited the criminal liquidations and the disturbance caused by young people as examples of this. In the yearly crime meter of the Algemeen Dagblad Amsterdam did not perform particularly badly in safety policy and crime fighting, one of the reasons for this is Cohen's targeted approach towards those who commit multiple crimes (veelplegers). Cohen stated that his policy which combines soft and hard approaches, fighting crime and fighting the causes of crime, was the key to his successful safety policy.