Investment and nonprofit management
Jay Cowles's career includes management roles in several media and media-related businesses and, more recently, oversight responsibility for a private investment company and several nonprofit endowment funds. As chairman of Cowles Media Company, he led the family owners and the company’s board of directors during the 1990s, which included the sale of the company (and the Star Tribune newspaper) in 1998. Since then, he has served as managing director of Lawrence Creek, LLC, a private investment company for family members.
As a volunteer, Cowles has served a number of civic and arts organizations in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Most recently, he served as the chair of the Saint Paul Foundation and the Minnesota Community Foundation, helping to set the stage for the strategic alignment of these two leading state philanthropic institutions. In addition, Cowles is a founding member and working team member of the Itasca Project, a group of Twin Cities business, civic, and political leaders committed to catalyzing regional priorities that enhance the metro area’s economic competitiveness and quality of life.
Cowles is a graduate of Harvard University and the Harvard University Business School.