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Tom Cowan

Governor's Appointee to Commission


Tom Cowan served as the first Director of the Northwest Straits Commission and enjoyed his experience so much he returned as 2016 Governor’s appointee to the Commission! He was elected to serve as vice chair in 2021. Most recently he has been a consultant specializing in public policy and marine resources project management. Prior to being original Director to the Commission, he was the Legislative Liaison and Public Affairs Director for the Puget Sound Water Quality Action Team. From 1983 through 1994, Tom was an elected county commissioner for San Juan County, responsible for county legislative and executive decisions.


His experience in witnessing the overall framework and evolution of the Commission makes him a unique member to the team. Tom appreciates being able to work with the Northwest Straits Initiative and its growing network of passionate individuals. In his personal life, he enjoys gardening, running and golfing and is an avid fly fisherman. Tom and his family have lived on Lopez Island since 1974.