Peter Cowhey

Symposium: Celebrating the Impact of Dean Peter F. Cowhey's Legacy

As dean of the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), Peter F. Cowhey has left an indelible mark on GPS. After nearly two decades at the helm of the school, Peter will retire at the end of June 2021 and will become an emeritus professor. 

Peter joined the UC San Diego faculty as a professor of political science in 1976. He currently holds the Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Communications and Technology Policy. His expertise over the years includes energy markets, the future of communications and information technology policy, U.S. trade and foreign policy and international corporate strategy. Peter’s professional history has also included work for two White House administrations and multiple UC San Diego leadership positions.

On April 23, we held a virtual symposium in celebration of Dean Cowhey and his remarkable achievements at GPS, in government and for all the organizations he has served. We also invited GPS alumni to a special virtual reception on April 24, which celebrated Dean Cowhey, as well as our 2020 Outstanding Alumnus Jeff Rector.

April 23: Agenda

Agenda


8:30 - 8:50 a.m. – Opening Remarks

  • Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor, UC San Diego
  • Peter Gourevitch, Founding Dean, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego
  • Joshua Graff Zivin, Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego

8:50 - 9:50 a.m. –  Session 1: Charting an Intellectual Path

In this session, we took an in-depth look at Dean Cowhey’s research and writings on the international trading system with particular application to energy, telecommunication, the Internet, cybersecurity, Big Data and U.S. relations with Japan and China. We focused on the themes that drive all of his research, from his dissertation on the politics of international energy, which contributed to the development of the emerging field of international and comparative political economy, to his current work on how digital technologies comprise the DNA that is transforming the business models in all industries ranging from agriculture and manufacturing, to services and ICT. Panelists discussed what motivates organizations, and the development of systems of formal and informal regulation, which shape the policy advice Dean Cowhey proffers to government, business and nonprofits, as well as the institutional development on which he works inside the university.

Panelists:

  • Jonathan Aronson, Professor, University of Southern California
  • Dan Breznitz, Professor and Munk Chair of Innovation Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto
  • Stefan Savage, Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, UC San Diego
  • Moderator: Peter Gourevitch, Founding Dean, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego

9:50 - 10 a.m. – Break

10 - 11:25 a.m. – Session 2: A Call to Public Service

In this session, we explored how Dean Cowhey has had the unique opportunity to be able to put into practice his policy ideas, ultimately making a difference for people and communities in the U.S. and around the globe. His contributions to public service span his time at the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) under the Clinton Administration, to his tenure at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S.-China Innovation Dialogue under the Obama Administration. Panelists shared some of the highlights from Dean Cowhey’s work in government, such as authoring a book on international telecommunications agreements designed to promote competition and lower the costs of communication, followed by a stint at the FCC where he helped drive negotiations of the WTO telecom agreement and the reduction of international phone rates around the world. As Senior Counselor to the U.S. Trade Representative under the Obama Administration, Dean Cowhey also helped craft the global trade strategy including the design of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He also serves as chair of the Grameen Foundation and the California Council on Science and Technology.

Panelists:

  • John P. Holdren, Teresa and John Heinz Professor in the Kennedy School of Government and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University and the Science Advisor to President Obama (2009-17)
  • Reed Hundt, Former Chairman, Federal Communication Commission; and CEO, Coalition for Green Capital and Principal, REH Advisors
  • Ron Kirk, Former U.S. Trade Representative; and Senior of Counsel, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  • Moderator: Susan Shirk, Chair, 21st Century China Center, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego

Remarks:

  • Carlos Casasus, Former Director General, Corporación Universitaria para el Desarollo de Internet, A.C. (CUDI)
  • Xue Lan, Dean, Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University

11:25 - 11:35 a.m. – Break

11:35 - 11:40 a.m. – Remarks from Elizabeth H. Simmons, Executive Vice Chancellor-Academic Affairs, UC San Diego

11:40 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. – Session 3: Building a Visionary Pacific Community

In this session, we discussed how Dean Cowhey created a policy school like no other. Since he took the role of dean, GPS has evolved significantly, expanding its already solid foundation to become one of the leading schools for international relations and public policy. From the early scholarly and programmatic investment in the Pacific region and quantitative rigor, to the recent focus on STEM-led policy development, GPS is a place where the precision of science, the craft of politics and the empiricism of economics come together to develop impactful, global policy solutions that are grounded in science. Panelists talked about how his leadership has helped provide a foundation to prepare thousands of GPS students and alumni for success as they make a positive impact in the world. 

Panelists:

  • Jennifer Burney, Marshall Saunders Chancellor’s Endowed Chair in Global Climate Policy and Research, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego
  • Gordon Hanson, Peter Wertheim Professor in Urban Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Irwin JacobsFounding Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Qualcomm
  • Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor, UC San Diego
  • Moderator: Joshua Graff Zivin, Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego

Remarks:

  • Enrico Letta, Dean, Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po

12:45 - 1 p.m. – Closing remarks by Dean Peter F. Cowhey

Note: agenda and time subject to change.

Questions? Contact Arpita Verghese.

April 23: Speakers

Speakers

  • Jonathan Aronson, Professor, University of Southern California
  • Dan Breznitz, Professor and Munk Chair of Innovation Studies, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto
  • Jennifer Burney, Marshall Saunders Chancellor’s Endowed Chair in Global Climate Policy and Research, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego
  • Carlos Casasus, Former Director General, Corporación Universitaria para el Desarollo de Internet, A.C. (CUDI)
  • Peter F. Cowhey, Dean and Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Communications and Technology Policy, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego
  • Peter Gourevitch, Founding Dean, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego
  • Joshua Graff Zivin, Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego
  • Gordon Hanson, Peter Wertheim Professor in Urban Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
  • John P. Holdren, Teresa and John Heinz Professor in the Kennedy School of Government and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University and the Science Advisor to President Obama (2009-17)
  • Reed Hundt, Former Chairman, Federal Communication Commission; and CEO, Coalition for Green Capital and Principal, REH Advisors
  • Irwin JacobsFounding Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Qualcomm
  • Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor, UC San Diego
  • Ambassador Ron Kirk, Former U.S. Trade Representative; and Senior of Counsel, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
  • Xue Lan, Dean, Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University
  • Enrico Letta, Dean, Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at Sciences Po
  • Stefan Savage, Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, UC San Diego
  • Susan Shirk, Chair, 21st Century China Center, School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego
  • Elizabeth H. Simmons, Executive Vice Chancellor-Academic Affairs, UC San Diego

April 24: GPS Alumni-only Event

GPS Spring Alumni Celebration
April 24 from 5–7 p.m. PST

We celebrated Dean Cowhey, who after nearly two decades at the helm of the school, will retire at the end of June 2021. In an informal conversation, led by Shawn Covell ’12, Dean Cowhey reflected on his tenure and what comes next for GPS. We also recognized Jeff Rector '97, our 2020 GPS Outstanding Alumnus and heard updates from GPS alumni board president Liliana Pao ‘02. During this virtual event, we connected with other GPSers and tested knowledge in GPS alumni teams in a friendly game of Trivia. This was a GPS alumni-only event.

Questions? Contact Nurit Mandel.

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