NEW YORK — Cendant Corp. announced Monday that William S. Cohen, the former U.S. secretary of defense and ex-senator from Maine, has joined its board of directors.

Mr. Cohen, 60, is the 11th outside director on the 14-member board.

Cendant’s operations include mortgage outsourcing, hotel franchising, real estate brokerages, and car rentals.

“We are delighted to welcome Secretary Cohen to Cendant’s board of directors,” said Henry R. Silverman, president and chairman of Cendant. “His outstanding background and public service record combine to make him a valuable addition to the company’s board as we expand our operations internationally.”

After serving three terms in the House and three in the Senate, Mr. Cohen in January 1997 became the nation’s 20th secretary of defense.

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