Academic administrator Artis Hampshire-Cowan was born in Mobile, Alabama on February 5, 1955. In 1976, she graduated with honors from Morris Brown College with her B.A. degree in Business Management. Three years later, she received her J.D. degree from Temple University Law School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduation, she served as Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia, whereupon she moved to Washington, D.C. For twelve years, Hampshire-Cowan worked with the government of the District of Columbia. She held such positions as Congressional lobbyist with the Office of Intergovernmental Relations; Chief of the Office of Compliance at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs; Historic Preservation Development Expert; and Senior Advisor/Attorney Advisor to the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and City Administrator. Hampshire-Cowan also served as General Counsel at RFK Stadium; she served as in-house counsel and the chief negotiator for several sports initiatives including the Redskins/District proposal to construct a new Redskins stadium in the District of Columbia and subsequently served as Special Counsel to County Executive Wayne Curry’s successful construction of the Redskins Stadium in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
In 1991, Hampshire-Cowan co-founded and later served as president of Bright Beginnings, an organization that aims to meet the needs of
homeless children by providing families with childcare and on-site therapeutic and family support services. In 1994, Hampshire-Cowan joined the Board and also served as president (2005-2007) of the Prince George’s Community Foundation, which supports and grants funds to the County’s nonprofit organizations. Hampshire-Cowan, a graduate from the Stephen Covey Leadership Center, is a certified trainer for the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Principle Centered Leadership, and First Things First. She has provided training for boards of directors and executive management in higher education, business, government, and nonprofit community-based organizations. Currently, Hampshire-Cowan is Senior Vice President and Secretary of Howard University. In this role, she serves as corporate secretary of the University; manages the affairs of Howard's Board of Trustees; and plans and manages all official functions of the University, including Opening Convocation, Charter Day, and Commencement.
In 1993, Hampshire-Cowan served as Prince George's County Executive appointee on Superintendent Selection Committee. In 1994 and 1998, she Co-Chaired Prince George's County Executive's 1994 Education Transition Committee. In 1998, Hampshire-Cowan was appointed by Governor Glendening as Chairperson, Management Oversight Panel, Prince George’s County Public Schools. Hampshire-Cowan was granted the Power 150—People Who Make Things Happen Award by the Washingtonian Magazine in 2007 and the Women Who
Mean Business Award by the Washington Business Journal in 2008. In 2009, Hampshire-Cowan was featured in the Washingtonian Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women, and in 2010, she was named to the 2010 Prince George’s Suite Top 100
“Who’s Who of Prince George’s County and Who’s Who in Black Metropolitan Washington, DC.” Hampshire-Cowan currently resides in Mitchellville, Maryland, with her husband, Ernest. They have
two children, Carri and Ernest, Jr.
Artis Hampshire-Cowan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 27, 2010.