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Thomas Cowan

Associate Director of the Center for Technology Management

Thomas (Tom) Cowan now makes his home at Columbia University. This follows the first half of his career at IBM and the second half building software companies.

He rose through the leadership ranks to become CEO, Board Director, and Chairman of ten companies and boards of directors, including public, private, nonprofit, and academic organizations.

Today, Cowan’s focus is on the digitization of our society, artificial intelligence, and the paths forward.

He has served on many boards, including OutlookSoft, Tivoli, Tagetik,, and He has chaired audit, compensation, governance, and nominating committees. Cowan has also been Executive in Residence at RockRidge Capital Partners. Cowan currently serves as a board director and chairman for several technology companies and is an advisor to investment firms and technology CEOs.


  • Doctoral Studies, Columbia University
  • M.B.A., University of South Carolina
  • B.A., Wake Forest University


  • Leading in the Digital Age: Disruption, Transformation, Data, Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence (First Edition, Vecker Press, 2018)
  • From Idea to Business (First Edition, Vecker Press, 2011)
  • Leadership Basics (First Edition, Vecker Press, 2011)
  • Business Basics (First Edition, Vecker Press, 2011)