David L. Cohen, Comcast executive vice president, has been nominated to serve as chairman of the University of Pennsylvania's board of trustees, effective November 2009.

The news was enclosed in a memo to the trustees dated Dec. 2 from Penn president Amy Gutmann and current board chairman Jim Riepe.

The memo recommends that the board approve the selection during its nominating meeting in June.

"This recommendation, which also has the full support of the Executive Committee, is the result of a process that began earlier this year after Jim made known to Amy his desire to step down from the chair after 10 years in that position," the memo states.

Cohen, a current member of the board and a 1981 graduate of Penn's law school, also serves as president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Cohen's involvement in civic affairs dates back to the early 1990s, when he served as Mayor Ed Rendell's chief of staff.

He left that post in 1997 to become chairman of the law firm Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll. He joined Comcast in 2002.

Cohen would be the first Philadelphia-based chairman since 1986.

Contact staff writer Dwight Ott

at 215-854-2797 or dott@phillynews.com.