Steve Cowper, Esq

Steve Cowper, Esq.

National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy Advisory Board


In 1986 Steve Cowper was elected as the sixth Governor of Alaska. He managed the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill crisis on behalf of the State of Alaska and played a major role in opening up the Soviet (now Russian) Far East for international trade. For his administration's active role in reviving the Alaskan economy and creating a surplus in the state budget, Cowper was named one of America's top ten governors by the publisher of USA Today.

Steve Cowper began his professional career as a maritime attorney in Norfolk, Virginia, but soon moved to Alaska where he was an Assistant District Attorney and later in private practice as senior partner in Cowper & Madson, in Fairbanks. He served in the Alaska House of Representatives in 1975-1978, and was Chairman of the House Finance Committee and Chairman of the Alaska Lands Committee. In 1977-1978 Cowper was one of the Alaska representatives to the Law of the Sea Conference.  Mr. Cowper also served as Chairman of the Alaska Permanent Fund, a public investment trust which today has a value of $28 billion and is regarded as the best-managed public fund in the US.

After his term as governor, Cowper was a visiting fellow at the New York-New Jersey Port Authority in 1991. He served from 1995 to 1998 as President of the Northern Forum, an organization of 23 northern regional governments from 10 nations, which is officially recognized by the United Nations. He was Co-Chairman of the Pacific Rim Fisheries Conference in Beijing in 1994 and again in Tokyo in 1997. Cowper is a board member of the Northeast Asia Economic Forum, affiliated with the East-West Center in Honolulu.

Since 1991 Cowper has been CEO of Steve Cowper & Associates, of Anchorage, Alaska, and Austin, Texas, a group which advises companies and governments on energy-related initiatives. In 2004 his firm was chosen as an official adviser to the government of Sao Tome and Principe, an island country off the coast of West Africa. He has also served as a contractor to the US government on infrastructure projects located in other nations. He is a frequent speaker at international conferences on large energy infrastructure projects, and has authored articles on the same.