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Cowan earned his medical degree from Washington University, St. Louis, and completed postgraduate residency training in internal medicine, hematology, and oncology at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a certified executive of the American College of Physician Executives. He attended the National War College at Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., as a senior research fellow.

Cowan retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004, after 33 years of service, as the 34th Naval Surgeon General. In that role he was responsible for leadership, guidance and management for more than 40,000 personnel in 120 medical, dental, research and teaching facilities worldwide.

He has held several executive positions in the private sector, most recently as director at Deloitte LLP. Prior to joining Deloitte, Cowan served at BearingPoint Inc. as chief medical officer and before that as senior vice president for Healthcare Solutions at Oracle Inc.

Cowan most recently served as the Executive Director of AMSUS, The Society of Federal Health Professionals.  AMSUS' activities include publication of the monthly professional journal, Military Medicine, and production of an annual continuing education meeting for federal health professionals.

He retired for the third time in January 2018, and now lives with his bride of 55+ years in Northern Virginia.

Positions Held at MOAA:

  • Chairman, Health Care Committee