Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced Tuesday that his current Chief of Staff William “Mo” Cowan, a Stoughton resident, will be stepping down in January 2013, returning to the private sector.
Foxborough native Brendan Ryan, who is now the administration's Director of Communications, will take over from Cowan, who has held the job since January 2011.
As chief of staff, Cowan, 43, helped oversee the historic health care cost containment law and the Expanded Gaming Act, according to a press release from the Governor's office. He was also instrumental in overhauling the state Parole Board,"successfully managing the internal investigation of board conduct and overseeing the selection of replacement board members," according to the release.
Prior to his tenure as Chief of Staff, Cowan served for two years as the Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel where he 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, the press release states.
Cowan, a a graduate of Duke University and Northeastern University School of Law, was a partner at Mintz Levin in Boston before joining the Patrick administration.
Cowan's successor, Ryan, is the longest-serving member of the governor’s senior staff, according to the press release. The 31-year-old worked as Patrick's Deputy Chief of Staff in 2007 and 2008 before leaving to work as Massachusetts political director for President Barack Obama's first campaign. He returned as a special adviser in 2009, and since has worked with the MBTA and then on Patrick's re-election campaign. He returned to the Governor's Office as Director of Communications in 2011.
“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," Patrick said.
"At the same time, he has a hard act to follow," The Governor continued. "Mo has been an exceptional chief of staff. He has been a brilliant strategist, an effective executive, a wise counsel and a dear friend."