Recommendation from Professor Cohen

If you want me to write a letter of recommendation, you must:

1.  Talk to me or email me in advance.  It may be that I will tell you, for example, that I may not be the right person to write your letter; and more broadly, I find that these are opportunities for a useful discussion about your next steps.  I will, however, write for any student who requests it a “Director’s Letter” as the head of Strategic Studies, explaining what SAIS is all about and what you have done here.  Students who have not had classes with me may nonetheless find this helpful.

2.  Give me the materials at least four weeks before they are due; I will waive this requirement in exceptional circumstances.

3.  Provide a complete package, to include, as appropriate:

a) forms;

(b) a resume or curriculum vitae;

(c) an transcript, formal or informal, of your coursework at SAIS;

(d) a concise description of what you are looking to do;

(e) highlights of your SAIS experience that you would like me to know about or comment on;

(f) copies of papers that you have written, etc. if you feel those would be helpful.

Only provide these documents as a package, not piecemeal, and submit hard copy, not electronic files for me to print out.

4.  If the recommendations will be submitted in paper form, provide stamped, addressed envelopes.  Fill in all the forms as completely as possible, to include my name, title, and contact information.  All I should have to do is sign and date the form, as well as check off any evaluations of you.

5.  On top of the package, write me a note telling me when the recommendations are due.
I try to write timely and effective recommendations for all students, but these are necessary conditions for me to do so.