Peter F. Cowhey
Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Communications and Technology Policy
Phone: (858) 534-1946
Fax: (858) 534-3939
UC San Diego, IR/PS
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1977 (political science)
M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1971
B.S.F.S., Georgetown University, 1970 (foreign service)
Programs and Centers
by Peter Cowhey and Michael Kleeman, UC San Diego
New Report: October 18, 2012
Cowhey can provide commentary on U.S. trade policy, foreign policy, the future of communications and information technology markets and policy, the internet, biological threats, international corporate strategy, and the microfinance industry to alleviate poverty.
His recent book is Transforming Global Information and Communication Markets: The Political Economy of Innovation, (with J. Aronson and D. Abelson), MIT Press (2009).
In 2009, Peter Cowhey served a 12 month assignment as the Senior Counselor to Ambassador Kirk in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) under President Barack Obama. His responsibilities included working with Ambassador Kirk on the strategic agenda for trade policy while supervising the work of USTR offices for the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, Market Access and Competitiveness, Intellectual Property, and Services and Investment.
Cowhey serves on the bi-national experts group appointed by the U.S. and Chinese Governments on innovation policy. He also served as the Chief Policy Officer for the Aspen Institute’s International Digital Economy Accords project to update policies involving the Internet and global information and communications markets. As chairman of the CONNECT Innovation Institute he is co-leading a project on American innovation policies. Cowhey is also the Vice Chair of the California Council on Science and Technology.
Market Assessment Developed by UC San Diego Students Positions Region to Boost Exports. UC San Diego News. May 15, 2013.
The Resurgence of Manufacturing in the United States. UCSD-TV. April 22, 2013.
Don't Let Region Miss the Boat on Exports. San Diego Business Journal. January 7, 2013.
Clouded Futures and Sovereign Sunshines. Designing Geopolitics 2: 2nd Annual Conference at the Center of Design and Geopolitics. June 2, 2012.
China Airborne: Aviation and the Future of China with James Fallows and Peter Cowhey. Helen Edison Lecture Series. June 11, 2012. UCSD-TV.
Spring 2013 Course
Syllabus - Cyber Security IRGN 477
Cowhey is an expert on U.S. foreign policy and technology policy. He has published extensively on comparative foreign policy and international issues involving Asia and the United States. He has also done extensive work on international trade, technology and investment policy. His special expertise is the international communications and information industries.
His recent book is Transforming Global Information and Communication Markets: The Political Economy of Innovation, (with J. Aronson and D. Abelson), MIT Press (2009). He is currently working on a book manuscript on American Foreign Economic Policy with M. McCubbins.
Cowhey is a member of the board of directors of the Grameen Foundation USA, the US foundation supporting the work of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr. Muhammad Yunus. Cowhey also is spearheading the Aspen Institute’s International Digital Economy Accords project to develop policies that will update the international regime for Internet communications and and serves as chairman of the board of CONNECT Innovation Institute. Cowhey is also the Vice Chair of the California Council on Science and Technology. Read more about his appointment to CCST here.
Cowhey is a research scholar at the California Institute on Telecommunications and Information Technology (CALIT2) and is a non-resident fellow of the Annenberg Center of Communications at USC. He also consults extensively for the telecommunications and information technology industries.
In 2009, Peter Cowhey served a 12 month assignment as the Senior Counselor to Ambassador Kirk in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) under President Barack Obama. His responsibilities included working with Ambassador Kirk on the strategic agenda for trade policy while supervising the work of USTR offices for the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, Market Access and Competitiveness, Intellectual Property, and Services and Investment. Click here to watch Peter Cowhey's February 23, 2010 public lecture on "Reflections on Forging the U.S. Trade Agenda".
He is a former chief of the International Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and negotiated many of the U.S. international agreements for telecommunications and satellite services. He had responsibility for antitrust decisions involving the communications and satellite industries.
Cowhey is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has served as chairman of the board of Digital Partners, a non-profit organization using social entrepreneurship to address the "digital divide." In addition to having served on the advisory boards of the United Nations Development Program and the U.S. Agency for International Development, he has advised over fifty countries on reforming their communications markets.
Cowhey joined UCSD's faculty in 1976. He was director of the University of California's system-wide IGCC from 1999-2006 and Associate Vice Chancellor-International Affairs from 2007-2009. Cowhey became Dean of IR/PS in July 2002.
In addition to his work on communications and technology markets and policies, Cowhey remains active in the foreign policy community. He is a member of the advisory board for the American Assembly's Project on the Next Generation of Foreign Policy Leaders. He is co-director of the Carnegie Corporations's project on Biosecurity and Public Policy at IGCC. Cowhey also serves on the boards of the Institute of the Americas, San Diego World Trade Center, the Vice Chair for the California Council on Science and Technology, and the Bishop's School.
Cowhey is an internationally recognized expert in telecommunications and information policy and markets who also is a leader in building cooperative international arrangements for the management of security and economic issues.
- International political economy (trade and investment policy)
- Regulation and public policy (telecommunications and information policy, theory of regulation, comparative public policy)
- Homeland security
- International corporate strategy
- Comparative foreign policy
Publications of Note
Transforming Global Information and Communication Markets: The Political Economy of Innovation, (with J. Aronson and D. Abelson), MIT Press (2009).
Cowhey, Peter F., and John Richards. "Building Global Service Markets: Economic Structure and State Capacity." The State after Statism: New State Activities in the Age of Liberalization. Ed. Jonah D. Levy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2006. 301-39.
When Countries Talk: Global Telecommunication for the 1990s, (with J. Aronson), a book for the international trade project of the American Enterprise Institute (Ballinger, 1988).
The Problems of Plenty: Energy Policy and International Politics, University of California Press (1984).
Structure and Policy in Japan and the United States: An Institutionalist Approach, (co-edited with Mathew McCubbins) Cambridge University Press (1995) (reprinted in 1997).
Breznitz, Dan and Peter Cowhey. "America's Two Systems of Innovation: Recommendations for Policy Changes to Support Innovation, Production and Job Creation," Innovation, Production, and Sustainable Job Creation: Reviving U.S. Prosperity. CONNECT Innovation Institute, [White Papers] February 2012.
Breznitz, Dan and Peter Cowhey. "America's Two Systems of Innovation: Recommendations for Policy Changes to Support Innovation, Production and Job Creation," Innovation, Production, and Sustainable Job Creation: Reviving U.S. Prosperity. CONNECT Innovation Institute, [Executive Summary] February 2012.
“Network Theory and Internet Governance,” in Miles Kahler (ed.), Networked Politics (Cornell University Press, 2009) (with Milton Mueller)
“Political Economy and Technological Architectures: The Political Economy of the U.S. Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure,” November 2008, Journal of Policy Research (with J. Aronson and J. Richards)
“The Peculiar Evolution of 3G Wireless Networks: Institutional Logic, Politics, and Property Rights” in William Drake and Ernst Wilson (eds.), Governing Global Electronic Networks (Social Science Research Council and MIT Press, 2009) (with J. Aronson and J. Richards)
“Access and Innovation Policy for the Third-Generation Internet,” Telecommunications Policy, 24 (July/August 2000) (with F. Bar, S. Cohen, B. de Long, M. Kleeman, and J. Zysman).