•SANTIAGO RODRIGUEZ DIVERSITY & INCLUSION •
Director of Corporate Responsibility for
the Engine & Component Businesses
B.S., Aerospace / Mechanical Engineering, Arizona State University
In an America heavily divided along ethnic, racial, and cultural fault lines, Ian R. Kohen is a beacon of inclusiveness with his unwavering commitment to diversity. Born in Colorado and raised there and in Arizona, Mr. Kohen may not be Hispanic himself, but his life and work have made him one of the strongest allies that Latinos at Cummins Engine will ever encounter.
A graduate of Arizona State University with a B.S. in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, he worked for an aircraft engine manufacturer in Phoenix after receiving his degree, spending six years designing and testing aircraft engines before joining Cummins in Columbus, Indiana in 1992.
Mr. Kohen began as a Technical Specialist and Group Leader for Fuel Systems Service Engineering at the company and in less than six years was selected to experience diversity first-hand with an overseas posting to the company’s British factory in Daventry, England as a technical advisor. While his English colleagues shared a language with their American friend, anyone who has worked overseas knows that cultural differences can be as challenging as language barriers in the workplace.
The experience helped raise Mr. Kohen’s awareness of the difficulties some members of a diverse workforce can face as they navigate their day to day lives in a place that isn’t their native land and while encountering people who speak and look differently than themselves. It was a lesson that he brought back to the U.S. with him when he returned to Cummins’ headquarters a few years later as a Chief Engineer. Before long, his career advanced through a series of positions including Six Sigma Black Belt for fuel systems and director positions in purchasing, sales, and new business development.
Now as Director ofCorporate Responsibility and Diversity for Cummins Engine Business, Mr. Kohen has supported and increased the use of Cummins Foundation Grants to support community partners. He has successfully represented and supported the diverse Cummins population in North America and has supported Employee Resource Groups in improving their outreach and support to their target population. He has also actively worked with HR to address and decrease the non-optimum representation of several minority groups within the EBU.
Mr. Kohen attributes the beginnings of his passion for diversity and justice to a trauma he suffered early in his life when he and his family had to evacuate their apartment after their African-American neighbors’ home was firebombed at a time of heightened racial tension much like today. He’s also led a fulfilling life outside of work, playing drums for alternative bands and getting involved in community issues particularly those involving youth, women, and diversity.
Mr. Kohen’s community involvement led to a 15-year tenure as a Commissioner for the Columbus Human Rights Commission, including four years at its helm. His efforts helped lead a highly contested change to the city ordinances to include protections for the local LGBTQ population.