For Immediate Release - November 27, 2012


Commends Departing Chief of Staff Mo Cowan; Plans to Announce Additional Appointments in Coming Weeks

BOSTON – Tuesday, November 27, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today announced that William “Mo” Cowan, Chief of Staff to the Governor since January 2011, will leave state government and return to the private sector in January 2013. Brendan Ryan, currently Director of Communications, will succeed Cowan.

“Brendan is well-prepared for this larger role. He has been at my side from the start, is deeply committed to our mission, and has grown tremendously as a leader. As we build on the progress of the last six years, Brendan brings continuity, proven talent, and the deep respect of the whole team. We are in good hands,” said Governor Patrick.

“At the same time, he has a hard act to follow,” said Governor Patrick. “Mo has been an exceptional chief of staff. He has been a brilliant strategist, an effective executive, a wise counsel and a dear friend. He leaves a strong foundation for Brendan, for the rest of the team and for me. I will forever be grateful for his leadership, all the good he did for the people of the Commonwealth, and the spirit of service in which he did it.”

Cowan assumed the role of the Governor’s Chief of Staff in January 2011 and in that capacity has been central to every legislative and administrative initiative in the Patrick-Murray Administration in the last two years. Cowan has been the Governor’s chief strategist and advisor, successfully overseeing the Governor’s cabinet and a legislative and policy agenda that included such high-profile achievements as the historic health care cost containment law and the Expanded Gaming Act. He was instrumental to the Governor’s overhaul of the state Parole Board, successfully managing the internal investigation of board conduct and overseeing the selection of replacement board members. As the Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel for the two years before serving as Chief of Staff, Cowan was responsible for all executive branch legal operations and oversight of judicial nominations, including the appointment of Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court Roderick Ireland. Before joining the Administration, Cowan was a partner at Mintz Levin in Boston. 

Cowan, 43, is a resident of Stoughton and a graduate of Duke University and Northeastern University School of Law.

Ryan is the longest-serving member of the Governor’s senior staff. He was Deputy Chief of Staff in 2007 and 2008 before taking a leave to work as the Massachusetts Political Director for Obama for America during the 2008 Presidential Campaign.  Ryan returned to the Governor's Office in 2009 as a special advisor, with a primary focus on opening up government through a series of forums, events and online initiatives. Governor Patrick tapped Ryan to lead the transition in leadership at the MBTA in 2009. Ryan worked with an independent team, led by David D'Alessandro, to produce the first ever independent review of MBTA finances and helped lead the recruitment of current MassDOT Secretary Rich Davey as MBTA GM. In 2010, Ryan worked as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Governor Patrick's successful reelection campaign before returning to the Governor's Office as Director of Communications in 2011. In that role, Ryan helped manage the day-to-day operations of the Governor's Office and helped guide a number of the Governor's successful initiatives, including the landmark health care cost containment law.

A native of Foxborough, Ryan, 31, graduated from St. Sebastian's School in Needham and Vanderbilt University.

Over the coming weeks, the Governor will announce additional cabinet and senior staff appointments for the balance of the Term. 


Follow us on Twitter - View our Photos - Watch our Videos