Connecticut College Magazine · Winter 2007


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Eugene B. Kogan ´03

Eugene B. Kogan ´03

A political analyst, Kogan understands the power of opportunity

Mary Howard

Eugene Kogan ´03 and his family had much to be thankful for this past Thanksgiving. The day marked the family´s 10th anniversary in the United States. Kogan, his parents and brother came to the U.S. from Russia in 1996, and, according to Kogan, his life was forever changed. "America gave me a fair chance to become all I could be," he wrote in the November 2006 edition of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven´s newsletter.

A senior political analyst for Americans for Informed Democracy in New Haven, Conn., Kogan has come a long way since he first arrived in the U.S., a 15-year-old with limited English skills. "People were very nice," he says. "They would tell me my English was much better than their Russian."

He holds a master´s in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and is applying to Ph.D. programs in political science in the U.S. After graduating from Connecticut College, Kogan served as a YAT (young alumni trustee) on the College´s Board of Trustees for three years — "an amazing experience." He´s published numerous articles, essays and op-ed pieces, and in 2005 Congresswoman Diane Watson of California spoke about Kogan´s monograph, The War Congress: Shouldering the Responsibilities of a U.S. Global Role, in the U.S. House of Representatives, urging her colleagues to act upon the recommendations he put forth.

Kogan is deeply grateful for the opportunities afforded to him by his adopted country. But it was his time at Connecticut College — he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in international relations — that "propelled" him forward, he says. "I would not have been able to do this without the teachers and the wonderful education I received at Conn."

When asked if any professors were particularly motivating to him as an undergraduate, he answers, without hesitation, "Bill Rose. My interest [in political science] really began in his classes. He is absolutely amazing. I´ve stayed in touch with him and have consulted with him on every single project I´ve done since graduation."

And there have been many projects. In addition to his writing, Kogan lectures regularly and has spoken on U.S. foreign policy and international security issues at many colleges and universities, including Harvard, Cornell, Wesleyan and CC. He says his drive comes from his parents, who instilled in him the importance of doing his best, and he brought that approach to his position on the Board of Trustees. "I did everything I could as a YAT. I sought to participate in the Board´s work as actively and meaningfully as possible."

Professor of Government Bill Rose says that Kogan was highly respected by the faculty and students at CC. "Eugene has a manner that is both forceful and gentle. He offers informed opinions with great clarity, at the same time that he demonstrates respect for others. I´m not at all surprised by his extensive accomplishments, and I look forward to hearing about his future contributions to public policy," says Rose.

Underlying Kogan´s many achievements is a profound sense of responsibility to his family. "I know my parents sacrificed for me to have the opportunities that this country offers. They left their old lives behind. They left everything behind."

Kogan takes his responsibility to society very seriously as well and is always looking for ways to "give back," whether it is talking with would-be college students at his former high school or participating in panels at CC. His plans for the future include teaching, working as a researcher at a think tank ("contributing to good public policy") and possibly even doing a stint in government. "I would love to someday serve in public office," he says.

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