Mr. Cowan delivers more than 35 years of experience supporting a broad range of clients as counsel on complex domestic and international public policy issues. His primary areas of focus are advising corporations, government entities and foreign sovereigns on business, regulatory and trade issues, including strategic planning, market entry, compliance, and public affairs.
As a lawyer and executive, Mr. Cowan has led four companies. His experience includes serving as a senior partner at Patton Boggs, LLP, an AM Law 100 firm, where he led firmwide business development for more than 500 lawyers. Mr. Cowan then founded The Jefferson Group, growing it into the second largest public affairs firm in its class before selling the company six years later. His experience also includes serving as Vice Chairman of Cassidy & Associates, DC’s largest public affairs company and as SVP at Hill and Knowlton, one of the world’s largest public relations firms.
Prior to entering the private sector, Mr. Cowan held presidential appointments in three administrations: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Secretary of Labor (both during the first Reagan administration), and Commissioner on the National Commission on Employment Policy (appointed by George H.W. Bush). More recently, George W. Bush appointed him a Member of the President’s Council on the 21st Century Workforce.
Mr. Cowan’s other government posts include serving as Counsel to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served as an operations officer and internationally as a country desk chief for the CIA, later holding the position of Assistant Legislative Counsel to the Director of Central Intelligence. Mr. Cowan’s Air Force career included serving as Captain and as a fighter pilot (F-101 fighter interceptor).
Mr. Cowan also serves on several boards, including the Board of Visitors for Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America; as Vice-Chairman of the Board for the Center on Congress, Indiana University; and Chairman of the Board of Advisors for Virginia Military Institute’s International Studies Program.
- Assistant Legislative Counsel to the Director of Central Intelligence
- Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Secretary of Labor
- Member, President’s Council on the 21st Century Workforce
- Commissioner, National Commission on Employment Policy
- Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health
- Counsel, Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, U.S. House of Representatives
- CEO: The Jefferson Group, Cowan Strategies, The Colombus Group, Newmeyer Associates
- Senior Executive: Patton Boggs, Hill and Knowlton, Cassidy & Associates
- J.D., Catholic University
- B.A., Political Science, University of Minnesota