Qualcomm Endowed Chair Holder to Become Interim Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

GPS Dean Peter Cowhey holds a Qualcomm Endowed Chair funded through the company's commitment to Calit2.

San Diego, May 4, 2016 — A longtime academic participant in Calit2 and the Qualcomm Institute, Dean Peter F. Cowhey of the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) will take over on August 1 as the Interim Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UC San Diego. Current EVC Suresh Subramani recently announced that he will step down at the end of July to rejoin the faculty.  Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla announced on May 4 that this fall he will launch an international search for a permanent replacement for Subramani, who will return to teaching.

Cowhey holds the Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Communications and Technology Policy, funded through Qualcomm's original $15 million commitment to Calit2 at UC San Diego. Since then the GPS Dean has been a research scholar in the institute's UC San Diego division, renamed the Qualcomm Institute in 2014.

"Dr. Cowhey is a stellar leader who has been a key advisor since my arrival on campus in 2012," said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla in announcing Cowhey's interim appointment. "He is recognized as an outstanding scholar with a wealth of administrative experience, and I am grateful for his willingness to lead Academic Affairs during this important time in UC San Diego’s history."

A member of the UC San Diego faculty since 1976, and Dean of the former School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (now GPS) since 2002, Peter Cowhey is an international expert on the future of communications and information technology markets and policy, specializing in United States trade and regulatory policy. His work as a scholar and a government official was central to the reorganization of competition in global communication and information markets in the past 20 years.  His research has also addressed issues ranging from U.S. foreign policy, U.S.-Asia relations, Internet governance, innovation policy and international corporate strategy, global biological threats, and the microfinance industry to alleviate poverty. Regarding microfinance, Cowhey is vice-chair of Grameen Foundation USA's Board of Directors; the U.S. foundation supports the work of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr. Muhammad Yunus.  

Cowhey directed the University of California’s Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) from 1999 – 2006 and was Associate Vice Chancellor for International Affairs at UC San Diego from 2007 – 2009. He chaired the campus committees that created the Rady School of Management, and currently serves on the board of the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Foundation for Earth Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Cowhey (right) and Calit2 Director Larry Smarr participate in a panel discussion in 2012 at the 2nd annual Conference of the Center for Design and Geopolitics in QI.
To watch streaming video of the discussion, click here.

Dr. Cowhey has a long history of public service.  In the Administration of President Bill Clinton, he was chief of the International Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and negotiated many of the U.S. international agreements for telecommunications and satellite services. He had responsibility for antitrust decisions involving the communications and satellite industries. In 2009, Cowhey stepped away from academia to serve a 12-month assignment as the senior counselor to Ambassador Ron Kirk in the Office of the United States Trade Representative, playing a key role in the strategic agenda for trade policy in the early days of the President Barack Obama's Administration. He currently co-chairs a bi-national group of experts on innovation and technology policy appointed by the U.S. and Chinese governments, and the group reports to the Strategic and Economic Dialogue conducted by leaders of the two countries.

In addition to having served on the advisory boards of the United Nations Development Program and the U.S. Agency for International Development, Cowhey has advised over 50 countries on reforming their communications markets.

He is currently vice-chair of the California Council on Science and Technology and a member of the Global Competitiveness Council of San Diego, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Pacific Council on International Affairs. Because of his work on innovation policy, in recent years he has been the chief policy officer for the Aspen Institute’s project on the digital economy. Cowhey chaired CONNECT’s Innovation Institute, and serves on the Advisory Councils of the Asia Pacific Institute for the Digital Economy and the Life Sciences Innovation Network-Japan.

Cowhey holds a B.A. in foreign services from Georgetown University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from UC Berkeley.  He.has been a non-resident fellow of the Annenberg Center of Communications at USC, and a visiting scholar at Sciences Po (Paris), the Juan March Institute (Madrid) and the University of Tokyo.

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