Jon McGowan studied law as a second career after 16 years in business and government affairs. His experience brings a depth of knowledge on a wide array of issues. He has owned multiple businesses in Jacksonville, Florida including a store-front retail and multiple special events. He has served on various boards with the City of Jacksonville, Florida, US, and has received multiple awards for his volunteer efforts in the community. In 2020, he was selected as a Fellow at the European Law Institute in Vienna, Austria, where he serves on the Members Consultative Comittee for multiple projects. He graduated from Florida State University College of Law in April 2021. In furthering his studies, he has been accepted into the #2 ranked Global Executive MBA program at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai. His areas of interest are business law, local government law, international business law, and environmental law.
China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Global Executive MBA, June 2023
Florida State University College of Law, Juris Doctor, April 2021
Certificate in Environmental, Natural Resources, and Land Use Law, April 2021
University of Iowa College of Law, London Law Program, January 2020
Oxford University, FSU Summer Program in Law, Summer 2019
University of Florida, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, December 2006
Florida Community College of Jacksonville, Associate of Arts, December 2002
European Law Institute
The Federalist Society
The First District Appellate American Inn of Court
National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
American Bar Association
Jacksonville Bar Association
Tallahassee Bar Association
Jacksonville Housing Authority, 2019 - 2021
Chair, 2020-2021, Vice-Chair 2019 - 2020
Duval County Elections Advisory Panel, 2017- 2020
Chair, 2019-2020, Vice-Chair 2018-2019
Duval County Taxation, Revenue, Utilization and Expenditures Commission 2018 -2019
Jon has played an active role in local and state government for almost 20 years. His counsel is frequently sought by elected and appointed officials on a variety of issues including land use and zoning, environmental regulations, firearms and Second Amendment issues, and general matters of public concern. His input has frequently altered the course of a debate and final actions.
Jon studied international relations while pursuing his degree from the University of Florida. While studying at Florida State University College of Law, he was presented the opportunity to study European and English law at the University of Oxford, Saint Edmund (Teddy) Hall in a joint program with FSU. He also studied international corporate governance in London, UK, with the University of Iowa College of Law under retired Delaware Supreme Court Justice Randy Holland. Jon had planned to further his international studies in 2020, being admitted to Cornell Law School to study at the Cornell-Paris I Summer Institute, a joint international law program with Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Unfortunately, the program was canceled due to COVID-19.
In 2021, Jon was admitted to the #2 ranked Global Executive MBA program at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai. This part time program for experienced global business executives meets bi-monthly, rotating between campuses in Shanghai, China; Zurich, Switzerland; Barcelona, Spain; and Accra, Ghana. Jon is the first American admitted to this program in over six years.
In 2020, Jon was selected as a Fellow at the European Law Institute (ELI) in Vienna, Austria. He is one of 1,500 legal scholars in the world, one of fewer than 15 Americans, to participate in the drafting of Model Rules, Proposals, and studies. ELI "aims to improve the quality of European law. It seeks to initiate, conduct and facilitate research, to make recommendations, and to provide practical guidance in the field of European legal development and the development of European law" by the European Union and the Council of Europe. He serves on the Administrative Law SIG and the Environmental Law SIG. He is on the Members Consultative Committee for the following ELI projects: Freedom of Expression as a Common Constitutional Tradition in Europe (2020-2021); Business and Human Rights: Access to Justice and Effective Remedies (2020-2021); Corporate Sustainability, Financial Accounting and Share Capital (2021 – Present); European Standards of Judicial Independence (2021 – Present).
Jon McGowan studied law as a second career after 16 years in business and government affairs. He attended Florida State University College of Law on a 90% Garnet & Gold Scholarship, graduating in the April 2021. He also received, as part of his Juris Doctor, a Certificate in Environmental, Natural Resources, and Land Use Law. Jon was granted the Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award for his volunteer efforts in providing legal services to those who cannot afford it. In addition to his professional obligations, Jon is also an active member of the First District Appellate American Inn of Courts, the Federalist Society, the Environmental Law Institute, and the Jacksonville Bar Association. He has received his Character and Fitness Clearance from the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, passed the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) in the top 20%, and will sit for the bar exam in summer 2021.
Jon had the honor of serving on the transition team for then Mayor-elect Lenny Curry. Jon served on the Streamlining for Growth and Opportunity Committee which was tasked with examining business and environmental regulations in the City of Jacksonville, FL. During that time, he developed a reputation for diligence and dedication to serving as needed. In 2017, Jon was appointed by Mayor Curry to the Duval County Elections Advisory Panel, which he chaired from 2019-2020.
In 2018, Jon was appointed by the Jacksonville City Council President to the Duval County Taxation, Revenue, Utilization and Expenditures (TRUE) Commission. He was subsequently reappointed by the next Council President, Aaron Bowman. He resigned that position in 2019 to accept a Mayoral appointment to the Board of Commissioners of the Jacksonville Housing Authority. He was elected Vice-Chair for 2019-2020 and subsequently elected Chair for 2020-2021.
In 2013, Jon founded Better Jacksonville Beach, a non-profit dedicated to revitalizing the Jacksonville Beach Downtown. He founded and runs both the Jax Beach Art Walk and the Jax Beach Classic Car Cruise. Through Better Jax Beach, he has organized over 160 "community building events" designed to bring the families back to the area. All events operate at no cost to the participants, city, or tax-payers. He has received multiple awards for his volunteer efforts including the 2016 Jacksonville Beach Wave Maker Award for Outstanding Community Service presented by Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham, a finalist for the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville 2019 Community Impact Award, and Folio Weekly's Best Community Activist in 2019 and 2020.
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