ZAC Foundation System Planning

The ZAC Foundation
Organization Overview: 

The ZAC Foundation is named for Zachary Archer Cohn, who died in 2007 at the age of 6, due to a pool drain entrapment tragedy. Zachary was a smart, inquisitive, kind, free- spirited boy who loved to know how things worked. He was full of life and curiosity.

Zachary was an accomplished swimmer and loved the water even as a small child. His untimely death is a loss that is a tragedy beyond words for his family and friends and all who knew him.

Zachary's memory is alive as the Foundation’s inspiration. It is the Foundation’s mission to prepare children and their families for a lifetime of water safety. The ZAC Foundation was created to set pioneering standards in the field of water safety. The goal of The ZAC Foundation is to save children's lives through three areas: grassroots outreach, ZAC Camps, a national program delivered through partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a learn-to-swim program delivered through partnership with the American Red Cross and school curriculum.

Project Name: 
ZAC Foundation System Planning
Project Type: 
Strategic Plan
Project Overview: 

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1 - 4 and the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 14. In order to better understand how drownings and near-drownings occur it is critical for our country to have a developed protocol for the collection of information related to drownings and near-drownings. In addition to other factors, some key considerations include: where the drowning took place (pool, river, ocean, lake, etc.), whether or not an adult was supervising, whether or note a barrier was in place and, whether or not a drain entrapment occurred. Creation of this system will may require collaboration among key stakeholders including: State and County Health Departments, USA Swimming, Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 


The student will be responsible for creating a detailed plan for the development of a national system for the collection of information on childhood drownings. The plan will be the product of collaboration across partner organizations and key stakeholders.

Spots Available: 
Executive; Full-Time
To Apply: 

To apply for this project, please contact Cassie Tomkins at

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829