Ronald R. Cowell – Founder and Senior Fellow, EPLC


Ron Cowell has been Senior Fellow at The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC) since January 1, 2023.  Ron started EPLC in 1998 and from 1999 to 2022 as president or executive director.  He is an experienced policy leader who also is a frequent speaker, writer and advisor concerning public policy and education policy issues.

EPLC an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit organization based in Harrisburg since 1999.

Prior to starting EPLC, Ron served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for twenty-four years until 1998.  While in the Legislature, he served as the majority or minority chair of the House Committee on Education for twelve years.  He also served for twelve years as a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education and for twenty years as a board member of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).

Since leaving the Legislature, Ron served as a member of the Board of Visitors for the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education, the boards of directors of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and Communities in Schools – Pennsylvania, the Education Committee of the Institute of Politics (University of Pittsburgh), and the advisory board for the Office of Child Development at the University of Pittsburgh.

Ron previously was a trustee of Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, Community College of Allegheny County, and the University of Pittsburgh.  He also was a member of the Governor’s Commission for Children and Families and the Governor’s Commission on Preparing America’s Teachers.  He has been a board member of many organizations including the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, Gateway to the Arts, NEED, and the Family Support Policy Board in Allegheny County.

At the national level, Ron served as a member of the National Education Goals Panel, and held leadership positions with the Education Commission of the States, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Association of State Boards of Education.  He also served as a board member of the Association of Governing Boards of Trustees of Colleges and Universities (AGB) for nine years and was a member and chair of the Recognition Committee of the Council on Higher Accreditation (CHEA) for several years.

Ron is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and Widener University Law School.



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