Meet Treasurer Cowell
State Treasurer Janet Cowell oversees more than $78 billion in pension fund investments, affecting more than 875,000 public employees including teachers, firefighters, and other government employees.
Cowell also oversees the operations of the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees, which provides health care coverage to more than 664,000 teachers, state employees, and retirees.
Elected in 2008, Janet Cowell:
Is the State's 27th popularly-elected Treasurer
Is the first woman to win the post
Is the Chair of the North Carolina State Banking Commission, supervising the state's banking system
Serves on the boards of State Education and Community Colleges
As State Treasurer
Under Cowell's 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 Standard and Poor's, Moody's Investment Services, and Fitch Ratings.
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 public school teacher in Nashville, Tennessee, Cowell grew up 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 New York and international offices 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 elected to Raleigh City Council and served two terms, representing more than 350,000 constituents. In 2004, she was elected to the North Carolina State Senate, representing the Research Triangle Park.
Ethical Leadership and Solid Financial Management
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 Senator.
Now in her 10th 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.