Executive Director & Instructor

Perry Cohen realized a lifelong dream of combining his love of the outdoors, his commitment to social justice, his own trans & queer identity, and his professional life when he founded The Venture Out Project. 

Perry is an alumnus of Outward Bound where he also worked.  Perry has extensive wilderness experience, having led multi-day hiking and mountain biking trips in the southeastern US.  He is an avid backcountry skier, biker and runner and just a few summers ago rafted the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  Perry is a certified WFR and lifeguard.  He was the Trip Director at Camp Aranu'tiq and has worked for many years as a coach, teacher, trainer and camp counselor with students ranging from age 7 to 65. Perry is proud to work with High 5 Adventure as consultant around strategic planning and leadership.

In addition to leading trips for The Venture Out Project, Perry is the lead facilitator and trainer for our gender and diversity training program.  He works with colleges, schools and other institutions to develop and deliver a comprehensive and progressive curriculum around gender diversity.  The curriculum often begins with a discussion of vocabulary and gender identity/expression and progresses into a more nuanced workshop around the fluid nature of gender and identity, intersectional identities and how to build an affirming culture and community.  Perry's workshops always include concrete skills that participants can walk away with such as: creating inclusive application and medical forms, working with gender fluidity and diversity in a residential setting, and modeling gender affirmation.  

Prior to founding The Venture Out Project, Perry was the Vice President of Talent Management & Leadership Development for the ninth largest privately held company in the US.  In his role, Perry was responsible for identifying and developing talent to meet the strategic needs of the organization.  He developed and delivered leadership and team building programs and served as an executive coach.  He also started the young executive development and community involvement programs there. Prior to that, Perry coached college soccer and taught high school history and art.  

Perry is on the Board of Advisors at High 5 Adventure learning and The Greenfield Center School.  He previously served on the Boards of Antioch University New England and The Darrow School.  

Perry holds an M.Ed and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and earned an M.S. in Sport Administration and Physical Education from the University of New Mexico.  Perry has presented papers on gender and sport at national and international conferences and has published work on sport history.  He has been an invited speaker at UC Davis, The University of Maryland, Colby College, Middlebury College, The University of New Mexico and other institutions. 

Perry has two children, a partner, and a chocolate lab and calls the hills and trails of Western Massachusetts home.

Hear more about Perry's story on the Dirtbag Diaries Podcast.