BILL OWENS holds a master's degree in public administration from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. He worked for 20 years in the private sector with the consulting staff of Deloitte and Touche, with the Gates Corporation, and as director of a trade association. He is an expert on Soviet affairs and writes and lectures often on Russia. Prior to becoming governor, Owens served in the state house and senate and as Colorado treasurer. He was sworn in as Colorado's 40th governor in January 1999, and was reelected in 2002 with the greatest majority in Colorado history.
Governor Owens earned high marks for fiscal leadership when he pushed through the largest tax relief package in state history, amounting to $1 billion in cuts in rates of sales, personal income, and capital gains taxes, and eliminating the marriage penalty. Keeping his promise to institute sweeping school reform in Colorado, Owens created an education accountability system—including detailed, online school report cards—that has been praised as among the best in the nation by Education Week magazine and The Heritage Foundation. He combined this model education accountability plan with five consecutive years of full state funding for public education. He also kept his commitment to transform Colorado's transportation system by accelerating road and mass transit projects, thus reducing completion times from half a century to a decade. He pushed for and signed into law the largest state commitment to transportation, which will invest $15 billion over the next 20 years.
In 2005, Owens led a bipartisan effort to speed Colorado’s recovery from the recession. The effort led to citizen approval of a measure allowing the state to retain certain revenue for a period of five years, putting an end to serious budget cuts that were negatively impacting state services.
William F. Owens served as Governor of Colorado from 1999 to 2007. Mr. Owens served as a member of the Colorado state house of representatives from 1982 to 1988, as a member of the state senate from 1988 to 1994 and as Colorado state treasurer from 1994 to 1998. Prior to his public service, Mr. Owens was a consultant with Touche Ross & Co., now Deloitte & Touche, LLP. In addition to his public service, Mr. Owens served for more than 10 years as Executive Director of the Colorado Petroleum Association, which represented 400 energy firms doing business in the Rockies. He holds a master's degree in public administration from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and an undergraduate degree from Stephen F. Austin University.