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Mark Douglas Cowan

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Mark Douglas Cowan
Personal details
Mark Douglas Cowan

(1949-12-04) December 4, 1949 (age 71)
Duluth, Minnesota
EducationUniversity of Minnesota-Twin Cities Political Science B.A.
The Catholic University of America J.D.

Mark Douglas Cowan (born December 4, 1949) is an American lawyer and consultant, known for his role as the founder of Cowan Strategies and earlier the Jefferson Group and Columbus Group.[1] Prior to founding Cowan Strategies, he was a Partner at Patton Boggs, now known as Squire Patton Boggs.

Early career[edit]

Cowan began his career as a rated officer in the U.S. Air Force where he flew in the back seat of a F-101. After several years he was recruited to the CIA as an operations officer, and later held the position of Assistant Legislative Counsel to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Under President Ronald Reagan Cowan was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA.[2] During his posting he oversaw many of the day-to-day affairs of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at a time when the regulatory agency undertook significant reform as well as the promulgation of several new regulations.[citation needed]

In 1982, he became Chief of Staff and Counselor to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Labor. Under the direction of the Secretary, he oversaw agencies comprising the Department, including OSHA, ERISA, MSHA, Congressional Affairs and Legal. He represented the Department before several governmental organizations, including the Vice President's Regulatory Task Force, and spoke globally on labor matters representing the Reagan Administration.

During President George H. W. Bush's Administration Cowan was appointed Commissioner of the National Commission for Employment Policy. At this post, he oversaw the laws and agencies governing employment and employment policy in the United States.[1]

Private Sector[edit]

In 1987, Mr. Cowan Co-Founded and became CEO of The Jefferson Group,[3] a public affairs, international government relations firm and grew it to the second largest independent firm of its type. The lobbying firm represented myriad domestic and foreign corporations.[4] Mr. Cowan would later sell his shares to partners and join Cassidy & Associates as Vice Chairman where he oversaw global business development.[5]

In 1996, Mr. Cowan undertook a major turnaround and revamping of Washington's oldest public affairs company Newmyer Associates. By 1998 he became CEO of the Columbus Group, the lobbying firm formed by the merger of Newmyer Associates and the International Policy Analysis Center, a firm that was spun out of the consulting side of what was the Sears World Trade organization in 1983.[6]

In 2000, Mr. Cowan became a partner at Patton Boggs where he oversaw and directed all Global business development for the 500 lawyer AmLaw 100 law firm.[7][8] After leaving Squire Patton Boggs Mr. Cowan returned to Cassidy & Associates as the vice chairman and senior executive vice president. A few years later, he launched the consulting firm Cowan Strategies. The new firm focuses on providing foreign and domestic corporations with advice and counsel on foreign market entry, Washington representation and business development.[1]

Professional Affiliations[edit]

  • Board of Visitors, Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law
  • Vice-Chairman of the Board, Center on Congress, Indiana University
  • Chairman, Board of Advisors, Virginia Military -Institute’s International Studies Program
  • Senior Counsel and Director, American Libyan -Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Board of Directors, Duluth Metals
  • Board of Directors, Americans in Wartime Museum
  • Board of Directors, United for D.C. Foundation
  • Board of Directors, Suntrak Energy
  • Board of Directors, Empowering America
  • Charleston FDI Steering Committee
  • World Trade Center Charleston (WTCC) Steering Committee
  • Board of Directors, Member - Minnesota Alumni Association of Washington, D.C.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Introducing the language lobby - Cowan launches new consulting firm - Trevor Thomas joins Giffords gun group". POLITICO.
  2. "Selling Privatization To The Populace Daunts Soviet Reformers".
  3. Brinkley, Joel (23 July 1993). "A Strategy on the Budget: Go After the Greenhorns" – via NYTimes.com.
  4. Kaplan, Sheila (31 January 1993). "THE REVOLVING DOOR STILL SPINS" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  5. "4 Lobbying Basics From Mark Cowan of Cassidy «  LobbyBlog.com". lobbyblog.com.
  6. McAllister, Bill (16 July 1998). "BIRTH OF COLUMBUS" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  7. Ho, Catherine (14 October 2012). "Patton Boggs moves to reinvent itself" – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  8. "12 Days Until the Election, Oil and Gas Exploration in Alaska, and Marketing Your Business to the Federal Government". VoiceAmerica.

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