Stuart Cowen is an adviser on philanthropy both to corporates and individuals. After a successful career in the army (where among many roles he deployed to the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and commanded the Household Cavalry Regiment - planning and participating in the Golden and Diamond Jubilees and Royal Weddings).  Stuart has focused on philanthropy and giving, both as a Trustee and an adviser.

He has accumulated a wealth of knowledge in grant-making over 20 years through Trusts and Foundations, both family and corporate structures.  He has overseen the setting-up of charities, planned long-term strategies and managed major grant-making projects.  He has a strong knowledge of charitable governance and the evaluation of philanthropic engagement, its outcomes and impact.  He has guided change programmes and has been closely involved in ensuring smooth transitions of leadership, especially through generational change.

When commanding the Household Cavalry, he restructured the wide and complex network of trusts and endowed funds into a single Foundation providing more focused support to soldiers, operational casualties and their dependents, veterans, the regiment’s heritage and equine welfare.

Leaving military service in 2015, he was bought in to lead the charitable foundation of a FTSE 100 property company, developing its philanthropic vision and activity as part of its CSR strategy of the company.  This work included revising the grant-making strategy and how it was communicated, improving staff engagement, building charitable partnerships and corporate collaboration in grant-making, and measuring, evaluating and reporting the impact of the strategy.

Stuart was commissioned into the army after leaving school.  He attended the Army Staff College, received an MA from Cranfield University and an MBA from Said Business School, University of Oxford.

As well as his work with Global Philanthropic, he is Chairman of the Rank Prize Funds, supporting research into Opto-electronics and Nutrition and a Director of the Rank Foundation.

Specialist skills

  • Grant-making Strategies
  • Family Trusts and Foundations
  • Corporate Philanthropy
  • Corporate Foundations
  • Generational Transitions for Trusts and Foundations
  • Impact Evaluation
Stuart Cowen photo