Board of Directors

Janet R. Cowell

Former N.C. State Treasurer & Former Chairman

N.C. Banking Commission

Janet Cowell is the chief executive officer of the Dix Park Conservancy. In this role, she leads strategic initiatives to promote, fund and develop the park, including a broad scope of programmed activities and special events. Janet leads with a vision for the park to be a transformative public space for everyone to enjoy.

Prior to leading the Dix Park Conservancy, Janet was the chief executive officer of Girls Who Invest, a non-profit with a mission to increase participation by women in the field of investment management. 

Janet served North Carolina as the first woman to hold the office of state treasurer. She stabilized and strengthened the pension fund in the aftermath of the Great Recession and stock market drop and grew the fund from $60 to $90 billion, with a compound return of more than 7.5 percent over eight years. She also strengthened supplemental retirement programs for state and local employees, reducing fees and providing additional options and improved oversight.  

As state treasurer, she took on the responsibility of managing the health plan for over 900,000 state employees and retirees. She improved the financial stability of the plan while increasing services and options for members. 

She is a former chair of the North Carolina Banking Commission. She also served as a state senator in the North Carolina General Assembly. Her first foray into elected office was as a member of the Raleigh City Council. 

Janet earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in finance from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.