National Institute on Aging

The Higher Education of the Newest Black U.S. Senator

cowenWilliam “Mo” Cowan was named interim U.S. senator for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by Governor Deval Patrick. He will take the seat held by Democratic Senator John Kerry who was confirmed by the Senate as U.S. Secretary of State. Cowan will serve until a special election in June that will choose who will fill out the remainder of Kerry’s term. Cowan has stated that he will not be a candidate for the seat in the special election.

Cowan will be the second African American in the U.S. Senate. Both have been appointed to their seats by their state governors. In December 2012, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley appointed GOP Congressman Tim Scott to the seat held by Senator Jim DeMint who left his post to become president of the Heritage Foundation.

Cowan was named chief of staff to Governor Patrick in 2010. Previously, he had been the governor’s chief legal counsel. Prior to joining the governor’s staff, he was a partner in the Boston law firm, Mintz Levin.

Cowan is a native of North Carolina. He is a graduate of Duke University and the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston.


Comments (2)

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  1. KJ says:

    I wonder in my lifetime if will I ever see a high ranking black person in government that went to an HBCU.

  2. Imogene H. Draper says:

    Congratulations to U. S. Senator Wlliam Cowan.
    As a graduate student at Duke University in 1969-70, I
    could only dream that one day you, and others like you,
    would one day be where you are. You make us all proud!
    Imogene Hodge Draper
    B. S., Hampton Institute, Class of 1964
    MEd., Duke University, Class of 1970

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