Celebrating Service: BND Commissioner Ralph Cowen Completes Final Term

BROWNSVILLE, Texas, May 3, 2024 – After more than a decade of dedicated service, Ralph Cowen, Commissioner, Place 1 of the Brownsville Navigation District (BND) concluded his final term. Cowen did not seek reelection in the Brownsville Navigation District General Election taking place May 4, 2024.

At a regular board meeting held May 1, the BND Board of Commissioners presented Cowen with a resolution honoring his dedicated service to the navigation district and the Port of Brownsville.

“We are grateful for Commissioner Cowen’s leadership and dedication to the Port of Brownsville,” said Brownsville Navigation District Chairman Esteban Guerra. “We extend our heartfelt appreciation to him for his invaluable service and wish him continued success in all future endeavors.”

A U.S. Army Veteran, Cowen was first elected to the BND Board in May 2008, and served as Chairman from 2014-2016.

“It has been an honor to serve the Port of Brownsville,” said Cowen after receiving the proclamation. “Moving forward with all the great things happening at the port, I can tell you, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I would like to thank everyone for their trust in me and I wish you all the best.”

Cowen has been a leading advocate for the Port of Brownsville and the communities it serves. Throughout his tenure on the board, Cowen made significant contributions to the port’s growth and development. Serving on various committees and boards in the region, he has played a pivotal role in shaping the port’s strategic direction and fostering collaboration between public and private sectors. Cowen chaired both the port’s Cruise Committee and Security Committee, demonstrating his commitment to enhancing port operations to ensure safety and security for all stakeholders.

As a member of the Border Trade Alliance, Cowen extended his leadership beyond the port, advocating for policies and initiatives designed to improve border affairs and trade relations throughout North America. Committed to bettering the quality of life for locals, Cowen served as Treasurer of the Southmost Regional Water Authority Board and was a member of the Rio Grande Valley Chamber Partnership, contributing to regional initiatives aimed at economic development. His involvement with the American Association of Port Authorities Cruise Committee and his designation as an “Honorary Member” of its Latin American Port Delegation demonstrated his commitment to fostering international partnerships.

About the Port of Brownsville

The Port of Brownsville is the only deep-water seaport directly on the U.S.-Mexico border and encompasses 40,000 acres – the largest land-owning public port authority in the country. The port transships more steel into Mexico than any other U.S. port. As the major multimodal transportation hub serving the Rio Grande Valley and northern Mexico, the Port of Brownsville supports investment opportunities and jobs.

Activity at the port is responsible for adding more than $2 billion to the regional economy, $3 billion to the Texas economy, and the creation of more than 51,000 jobs statewide. For more information, visit www.portofbrownsville.com


From Left to Right: John Reed, Commissioner, Brownsville Navigation District; John Wood, Secretary, Brownsville Navigation District; Ralph Cowen, Vice-Chairman, Brownsville Navigation District; Esteban Guerra, Chairman, Brownsville Navigation District; and Sergio Tito Lopez, Commissioner, Brownsville Navigation District at a regular board meeting held May 1, 2024.