Elizabeth Cohen grew up in the UK as a huge Tottenham fan, but fell in love with New York and the US when she visited to intern at a hedge fund. Returning to the US after graduation, she made sure to stay connected to the game of soccer through charity work at a youth program called FC Harlem. It was there that she met many of the people who would eventually become her co-workers in MLS.
“I knew in the back of my mind that my love had always been sports, and football in particular, and I wanted to make that move at some point,” Cohen recalled.
Cohen joined the country’s top soccer league in 2014 and last year led the creation of a new business intelligence and strategy team. In doing so, he brought together four existing business units into a coordinated group designed to ensure that the league’s decision-making is driven by the voice of his fans.
“The role that we’re playing for the league right now is to make sure we have that really close point of contact with our fans,” Cohen said. “How do they feel, what are their interests, what do they think of the league and how are they evolving as a fan base and the different cohorts within that as well.”
Looking ahead, Cohen will play a key role in building the league’s strategy to make the most of the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup in North America, an event that soccer advocates believe will fuel the growth of the game. in the region. Fan feedback will continue to play a key role.
“We’re doing a lot of work in the background to make sure we’re bringing the event to life the way each individual fan wants to be served,” he said. —Alex Silverman
Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Intelligence, major league soccer
Born: Hong Kong, and then grew up in the UK from the age of 4
Education: King’s College London, BS, Business Administration
Family: Husband, Daniel; Evelyn (4); Leon (6 months)
More about Elizabeth
Guilty pleasure: It’s not exactly a guilty pleasure, but something I enjoy doing on the lighter side is going to the salon with my daughter. It’s always a fun and (somewhat) relaxing bonding experience.
My leadership style is inspired by…: A combination of mentors that I have been lucky enough to work with, as well as two big influences in my life, my father and my husband.
Proudest Career Achievement: Build a new centralized league business intelligence and strategy department made up of amazing, hard-working people.
I wish I had known at the beginning of my career: You don’t need to know your exact career path on day one. As long as you are open-minded, true to yourself and hungry to learn, you will find the perfect role that aligns with your skills, talent and personality.
Change I would make in relation to women working in sports: Continue to reduce the stigma associated with openly discussing different approaches for women to balance building a successful career and raising children.