For many companies, the bottom line is no longer just about growth and profitability; it’s also about utilizing the capabilities of business to solve societal problems and make the world a better place. Gary M. Cohen believes Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick can be at the forefront of helping more corporations achieve both goals.

This is why he is founding the new Rutgers Institute for Corporate Social Innovation at the school. Cohen RC’80, RBS’83, an executive vice president at BD (Becton, Dickinson, and Company), intends to support the new institute by contributing $1 million as progress is made. “Positive social impact is not at odds with strong business performance,” Cohen says. “Rather, it is an enabler of the long-term success and sustainability of companies.”

The institute will develop curricula and foster research on integrating positive social impact and shared value creation into business operations, with the goal of grooming business leaders who are committed to leading successful enterprises that advance societal goals. 

Cohen is also president of the BD Foundation, co-chair of GBCHealth, and a board director of the Perrigo Company, UNICEF USA, and the CDC Foundation. He is the founder of Together for Girls, which is working in 23 countries to end sexual violence against girls. His experiences in achieving positive societal impact through business leadership include protecting health workers and children from infectious diseases and addressing the global threat of resistance to antibiotics and other essential medications.

“Companies have the potential to become a leading force for accomplishing good in the world,” Cohen says, “by helping solve massive global problems such as economic disparities, insufficient health access, and climate change.”