New Mexico Commissioner
Dick Cowles has been involved with the C&TSRR for over 20 years. Starting as a work-session volunteer and project leader he became a member of the Executive Committee of the Friends of the C&TSRR, then served as Treasurer of the Rio Grande Railroad Preservation Corp. for the first two years that it operated the railroad. He then concentrated on raising funds from public and private sources, including obtaining a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Adm. for rebuilding locomotives and satisfying new FRA regulations. Over the years he has advised the Commission on a variety of matters on a pro bono basis including researching and clarifying the principles of the C&TSRR compact between Colorado and New Mexico and the governing powers of the Commission, formulating the since-implemented plan for the Commission to operate the railroad directly, and codifying the policies and practices followed by the Commission.
Prior to his moving to Santa Fe in 1986 Dick was Chief Operating Officer of Telerate, Inc., a New York City based world-wide provider of real-time financial market data, and prior to that he was a founder and senior executive of the Chicago Board Options Exchange in Chicago. On moving to Santa Fe he not only became involved in the C&TSRR, but also earned an MA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College and became an avid river rafter. Into the 1990’s he frequently served as a Senior Advisor for USAID projects in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union that involved application of securities market principles and practices in support of privatization programs in those countries.