Janet Cowell


Janet Cowell is the State Treasurer of North Carolina and is the state's first woman to win the post. Treasurer Cowell oversees more than $72 billion in pension fund investments for the 820,000 teachers, firefighters, and public employees of North Carolina. Under her executive leadership as Treasurer, the state has maintained a triple-A Bond rating for strong financial and debt management practices, and is recognized as one of only seven states to earn the rating by the three major credit rating agencies. In addition, North Carolina has outperformed the national average for public pension funds by 32%, ranking 2nd in the United States by Standard and Poor's in 2009. Born the daughter of a Methodist minister and a public school teacher in Memphis, Tennessee, Cowell grew up primarily in the Southeast until attending college at the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated with Honors and went on to earn a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of Business as well as a Master's degree in International Studies from the Lauder Institute. Cowell worked as a financial analyst with organizations including HSBC Bank and Lehman Brothers in Asia before making her home in North Carolina in 1997. Living in Raleigh, North Carolina, she provided business consulting to various Fortune 500 companies and served as an adjunct professor at two institutions of higher learning in the state. In 2001, Cowell began contributing her financial expertise and leadership to work for the citizens of North Carolina. She was twice elected to Raleigh City Council and served three years, representing more than 350,000 constituents. In 2004, she was elected to the North Carolina State Senate, representing Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park. Cowell's career encompasses 19 years of ethical leadership and financial management for organizations locally, nationally, and internationally, in both the public and private sectors. Her policies on economic development, innovation, and making government work for the citizens of North Carolina have earned her two Legislator of the Year awards including Environmental Legislator of the Year as a North Carolina senator. Now in her 9th year of elected office, and with the nation facing unprecedented economic challenges, Cowell continues the conservative debt practices and solid economic development policies that keep North Carolina in secure financial standing. She is proud to serve the citizens of North Carolina as State Treasurer and remains committed to working each day to build and maintain a financially strong and prosperous North Carolina.