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August 4, 2015

William Zarit Joins The Cohen Group as a Senior Counselor

Sully Sullivan: (202) 863-7257 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Washington, D.C. -- The Cohen Group has announced that William Zarit, the former Minister for Commercial Affairs at the US Embassy in Beijing, has become a Senior Counselor with the firm. He will be based in Beijing, China.

"During his years of experience in China and East Asia with the US government and in the private sector, Bill has earned the deep respect of government officials and business leaders alike, and we are honored and delighted to welcome him to our team," said firm chairman Secretary William S. Cohen, who served as Secretary of Defense under President Clinton as well as for 24 years in the US Senate and House of Representatives.

While at the Embassy, Mr. Zarit managed the US Government's trade promotion and policy activities across operations in several major cities including Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenyang. Other overseas postings included Senior Commercial Officer at the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Deputy Senior Commercial Officer at the Embassy in Beijing, and Deputy Senior Commercial Officer at the American Institute in Taiwan. He also served as a Mandarin Chinese Interpreter for the State Department's Language Services, and currently is a member of the Board of Governors for the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

Immediately prior to his Beijing posting, Mr. Zarit served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Operations in the US Commercial Service, where he oversaw Commercial Sections in US Embassies and Consulates worldwide. The US Commercial Service is the federal government's front line trade agency, promoting both US exports and foreign investment into the US, as well as protecting US commercial interests overseas. He previously served as the US Commercial Service's Regional Director for East Asia/Pacific.

Before joining the US Commercial Service, Mr. Zarit served as the Economic and Commercial Program Officer for the National Committee on US-China Relations based in New York City. He also worked in the private sector as Marketing Manager/China for the California-based telecommunications firm Pacific Telesis International, preceded by his work as Project Manager for the high-tech marketing firm China Business Associates, both positions based in Beijing in the 1980s. He earned an MBA with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA with Honors in Political Science from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

Mr. Zarit joins a talented team of China experts at The Cohen Group based in Washington D.C., Beijing and Tianjin. Led by Secretary Cohen, the China practice includes Chinese nationals with extensive experience in Chinese government ministries and private sector, as well as Americans with combined decades of experience involving China and the broader Asia region.

The firm's Vice Chairmen are Ambassador Marc Grossman, former US Ambassador to Turkey, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and former US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and General Joseph Ralston, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Other senior leaders in The Cohen Group with deep global experience include:

  • Ambassador Nicholas Burns, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and US Ambassador to NATO and Greece
  • Ambassador Jeff Davidow, former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and US Ambassador to Mexico, Venezuela, and Zambia
  • Ambassador Michael Corbin, former US Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates who also previously served in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and Kuwait during his career in the Foreign Service
  • Lord George Robertson, former NATO Secretary General and Defense Minister of the United Kingdom
  • General Paul Kern, former Commander of the Army Materiel Command and the Senior Advisor for Army Research, Development and Acquisition
  • Admiral James Loy, former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and Commandant of the US Coast Guard
  • Lieutenant General Joe Yakovac, former Director of the Army Acquisition Corps and Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology
  • Lieutenant General Harry Raduege, former Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency and Commander of the Joint Task Force Global Network Operations

About The Cohen Group:

Founded in 2001, The Cohen Group is comprised of more than 60 professionals with many decades of combined experience working in top-level positions in Congress, the White House, the State Department, the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the intelligence community, other federal agencies, and in European and Asian governments, international organizations and the private sector.

With offices in Washington, London, Beijing, Tianjin, New Delhi, and Dubai, The Cohen Group provides its clients the insights and assistance needed to better understand and shape the business, political, legal, regulatory, and media environments in which they operate. This includes both developing strategic business plans to help clients achieve their objectives, and actively participating with clients in the execution of those plans. The Cohen Group practice groups include: Aerospace & Defense, Homeland Security, Middle East, China, India, Telecommunications and Information Technology; Energy & Resources; Transportation & Logistics, Health Care & Life Sciences, Financial Services & Investment, and Real Estate; serving clients in North America, East Asia, South Asia, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa and Latin America.

The Cohen Group also has a strategic partnership with DLA Piper, a global law firm with over 4,200 lawyers and 71 offices in 30 countries throughout the world.

For more information, please visit

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