Glenn Cowan

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Glenn Cowan is a co-founder of Democracy International and serves as the company’s CEO. He is an expert on democracy and governance, public opinion research, political organizing and vote count verification. Over the past 30 years Glenn Cowan has advised scores of domestic and international governmental agencies, candidates, political parties, trade associations, and corporate and nonprofit clients in the areas of constituency development, issue advocacy, governance and organizational development. He is expert in the application of research findings to guide public affairs campaigns, constituency development efforts, and membership acquisition and retention programs and is particularly skilled at helping clients turn research findings into effective strategies and tactics.

"Since 1985, Mr. Cowan has designed and advised on vote count verification and other election monitoring strategies in more than 30 countries throughout the world. He has served as a Senior Adviser to the National Democratic Institute and also has advised USAID, the UN, the Carter Center and the OAS in democracy development and the use of research methodologies in international elections. In the late 1980s, Mr. Cowan invented the path-breaking, sample-based parallel vote tabulation (PVT) election-monitoring methodology to deter or detect fraud in the aggregation (“tabulation”) of results in transitional and postconflict elections; PVTs, also known as Quick Counts, have become an institutionalized component of serious election monitoring. Mr. Cowan is a co-author of The Quick Count and Election Observation, an NDI manual on vote count verification for civic organizations and political parties.

"Before founding Democracy International in 2003, Mr. Cowan served as Vice President and Washington Director of Opinion Dynamics Corporation, a national survey research firm. Before that, he was Managing Director of Public Strategies, Inc., a public affairs and public relations firm. Mr. Cowan served as Asia Regional Director at NDI from 1999 to 2000.

"Mr. Cowan was a senior national staff member in the 1980 Carter and 1984 Mondale presidential campaigns and served as a voter contact consultant to numerous congressional campaigns in the 1980s. Earlier in his career, Mr. Cowan was a planning and management consultant to county and municipal governments while an adviser to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the state’s Housing Finance Agency. He served as an elected city commissioner and public safety director in Lambertville, NJ, as Chairman of the Hunterdon County planning board. He served as an elected member of the town council of Kensington, Maryland from 2001 to 2005.

"Mr. Cowan received a BA in political science from Rutgers College in 1969. He did graduate work at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh. He served with the U.S. Army in Vietnam as an infantry officer in 1971-72." [1]

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