Co-Founder and Former Executive Director
Stuart Cohen is co-founder and former Executive Director of TransForm. By combining high-quality policy analysis with coalition building and strategic media efforts, TransForm has become a powerful and effective voice for world-class transit and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond.
TransForm's campaigns on transportation sales taxes and other funding measures have brought together diverse coalitions and helped raise over $8 billion for sustainable and socially-just transportation. Stuart has spearheaded a number of these efforts, as well as the successful effort to initiate the Bay Area's Regional Smart Growth Strategy. Stuart has been the primary author of ten TransForm reports, including the seminal World Class Transit for the Bay Area and, more recently, Creating Healthy Regional Transportation Plans.
Stuart has helped launch many of TransForm’s pioneering programs, including the Great Communities Collaborative, ClimatePlan, and GreenTRIP. The Great Communities Collaborative, founded in 2005, is an award-winning partnership of non-profits and community foundations engaging communities around the Bay Area in planning for sustainable, equitable development near transit. In 2007 he co-founded ClimatePlan, a statewide network that is promoting smart land use and transportation as critical components of California's climate strategy. In 2010, Stuart was awarded an Ashoka Fellowship for his leadership in developing innovative programs such as GreenTRIP, TransForm's innovative program to certify and support low-traffic developments. In 2013, Stuart was named a recipient of the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for championing innovative regional planning to create affordable, vibrant communities that improve quality of life and help the environment.
Founded in 1997, TransForm now has 30 staff with offices in Oakland, San Jose, and Sacramento. Stuart now oversees TransForm’s work on state policy, the expansion of GreenTRIP and dissemination of regional policy innovations outside the Bay Area and California.
Previously, Stuart worked with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability as a researcher on the climate impacts of alternative transportation policies and fuels, and at NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research Group) as a toxics campaign coordinator and Statewide Canvass Director. Stuart received a Master's Degree in Public Policy (MPP) from the Goldman School of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley.