Sep 11, 2019
In this episode, I welcome
former U.S. Senator William “Mo”
Cowan. Mo currently serves as President, Global
Government Affairs and Policy for General Electric. Mo talks
about his journey from the practice of law to public service and
into government affairs.
Law School as a Path to Public Service and Government Relations
Law school has always been a good path to public service. Legal training provides an important framework for understanding legislation, regulation and how the judiciary functions and attorneys have a lot of credibility in pursuing these roles.
Elected office is a common avenue for lawyers who want to get more involved in Federal, state or local government. But many lawyers find themselves supporting elected officials in one way or another by serving on their staff. Some stay in private practice and volunteer to serve on local or State boards or commissions.
Government relations is another avenue that is open to attorneys who want to be involved in public policy from the industry side.
Mo Cowan is someone who has worked as a litigator in private practice, served as a key aide to a Governor, worked for one of the leading government relations firms in Massachusetts, managed litigation and investigations for a major corporation and now manages government relations for the same company.
At GE today, Mo is responsible for directing the company’s government relations and public policy engagement in the United States and around the world. Mo also leads the Global Growth Organizational national executive teams in Europe and Canada. He previously served as Vice President, Litigation and Legal Policy for the Company, overseeing litigation, enforcement proceedings, investigations and compliance globally.
Before joining GE, Mo held leadership roles with ML Strategies, a leading government relations and consulting firm, and the law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo.
On January 30, 2013, Governor Deval L. Patrick appointed Mo to serve as interim United States Senator upon the resignation of John F. Kerry and concluded his Senate service on July 16, 2013.
Prior to his Senate appointment, Mo served Governor Patrick in a variety of leadership positions, including Chief Legal Counsel, Chief of Staff, and Senior Advisor. As Chief of Staff, Mo directed strategic planning, investment and operations, including oversight of the state’s multi-billion dollar, annual budgeting process. As chief strategist and crisis manager to the Governor, Mo advised on all domestic and international affairs, intergovernmental relations and gubernatorial appointments and administered all management and personnel functions within the Governor’s office.
Before joining Governor Patrick, Mo served as Chair of the Anti-Money Laundering Compliance and Counseling Group at the law firm Mintz Levin.
Mo is a graduate of Duke University and Northeastern University School of Law