J. Donald Cohon Jr. was born on December 31, 1943. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1965. From 1965-1967, he served with the International Voluntary Services (IVS) in Vietnam, where he taught English to students at the Vung Tau High School. After leaving IVS, Cohon joined the US Army as an interpreter/translator for Chinese Mandarin in Taiwan. He was honorably discharged from this position in 1971. After returning to the United States he began his graduate studies at the University of Southern California. He graduated from that institution with a Ph.D in 1975. Over the next forty years, Cohon worked as a program director, principal investigator, grant writer, clinician and consultant. He also worked for a variety of social service departments and organizations in California, including the Southeast Asian Refugee Mental Health Project, the South Carolina Agency for Refugee Resettlement, the Family and Children's Division of the San Francisco Department of Social Services, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the Administration on Children, Youth, Families, the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect, and the Edgewood Center for Children and Families, where for 19 years he directed the Institute for the Study of Community-Based Services. He also taught a course covering social policies and clinical issues of refugees and immigrants at the Graduate School of Social Welfare at the University of California Berkeley. Cohon is the author of "The Collection of Raday Customs of Darlac" (1966, Ed.), "Psychological Adaptation and Dysfunction Among Refugees" (1981), "Crime and Violence Among Asian/Pacific Islander Youth: Delinquency Prevention Strategies" (1985), and “A Preliminary Study of an Intervention with Kin Caregivers” (2005). Cohen has also been published in professional journals including the "Children and Youth Services Review," and the "Journal of Intergenerational Relationships." Cohon has been active on many community service boards in the San Francisco area where he is currently a consultant to the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL), a non-profit agency, as well as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California.