Prior to founding Lionbridge in 1996, Cowan was executive vice president and member of the Management Committee for R.R. Donnelley & Sons. He also was chief executive officer of Stream International Inc., a multi-billion dollar division of R.R Donnelley. Cowan joined R.R. Donnelley in 1988 as senior vice president of the Documentation Services Group, and later became group president.
Prior to Donnelley, Cowan was president and chief executive officer of CSA Press of Hudson, Mass., a 1986 acquisition of R.R. Donnelley. He also held positions at Compugraphic Corporation, in Wilmington, Mass., and London, England.
Cowan is currently a member of the Board of Directors and the Audit Committee of LoJack Corporation (NASDAQ: LOJN). He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sielox LLC and a member of the Board of Directors of Invoke Solutions. Cowan is a member of the Board of Trustees of Deerfield Academy. Cowan served as Chairman of Interleaf until its sale to Broadvision; Chairman of FairMarket until its sale to eBay and Chairman of NewsEdge Corporation until its sale to Thompson. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Webline until its sale to Cisco. Cowan received his A.B. and M.B.A. from Harvard University.