Mo Cowan – uAspire First One Awards Boston

By: Chris Loney | Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mo Cowan

Chief of Staff, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

William “Mo” Cowan is a graduate of Duke University and Northeastern University School of Law. He currently serves as Chief of Staff for Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.

Although she never attended college Mo’s mother held high expectations for her son, ensuring that he was going to college. Mo’s mother maintained these expectations even after Mo’s father died in a car crash when Mo was just 16. On a seamstress’ pay, she supported her three children, kept the household going, and provided Mo a model of perseverance that is unmatched in his life.

From kindergarten through eighth grade, Mo never attended a class with another black student.  He was tracked in an academically gifted program and blessed with great teachers. Through their efforts, and those of his mother, Mo came to believe that through education he could achieve anything and position his family for success. Even so, Mo entered Duke with the impression that many of his peers were far more academically advanced than he was.  He struggled initially but soon enough found his footing (again with the aid and comfort of dedicated teachers and mentors) and came to appreciate the great diversity among the Duke community.  Mo studied with people from all over the world and developed sincere interest in the different social mores found in cultures across the globe. Over time, he came to realize that the commonalities outweighed the differences among his peers, while maintaining his pride in his own African-American experience. Mo contributes much of his success to the people who have helped in in his many transitions throughout life. With this gratitude, Mo does his best to improve opportunities for others through all of his work.

Mo Cowan has since become an inspiration to many for his ascendance through the Boston legal and professional community.  He has been a stalwart business and civic leader, and through that became the Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel.  His strong performance in that role made him the ideal candidate to be the Governor’s Chief of Staff.  In this role, and at the Governor’s direction, he has helped to coordinate an ambitious and successful policy agenda that has the Commonwealth outperforming most states in the country through the economic recovery on measures like growth, job creation and attracting new business.