William Fowler, who goes by “Bill,” is an ordained Episcopal priest and an attorney with a background in corporate finance and securities regulation. Since his ordination in 2000—following a four year process including three years in seminary—Bill has served the Episcopal Church in a wide variety of settings, with an emphasis on leading parishes and Episcopal schools in times of transition and uncertainty, sometimes following protracted conflict, decline, and alienation. Bill has a track record of working successfully under challenging circumstances with lay leaders, who are themselves prominent figures in law, medicine, business, and academia.
Bill also serves the Episcopal Church as President of the Board of Trustees of the Bishop Quin Foundation, which holds an investment portfolio of $38 million and whose Board is populated by distinguished professionals. In that capacity, he works closely with the Foundation’s financial advisors on investment strategy, and serves on the audit committee for the Diocese of Texas .
Bill has also served the Episcopal Church in a range of challenging matters, including leading the ecclesiastical court in the widely reported case involving St Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin. This process brought a decades-long matter to a close.
Prior to ordination, Bill had a career in law and business in Austin, Washington, DC, and in New York City. He clerked for Judge Trueman O’Quinn of the Third Court of Appeals in Austin following graduation from law school at UT. At age 29, Bill was appointed Counsel to Commissioner James C. Treadway of the Securities and Exchange Commission, a Reagan appointee. He was an active participant in the formulation of public policy affecting capital markets worldwide, in the process of corporate finance, as well as major federal prosecutions for financial fraud and insider trading.
Bill subsequently joined the Washington office of Baker & Botts, where he represented a variety of institutions in public and private financial transactions in the U.S. and in Europe. He was also retained by other law firms in connection with matters before SEC and federal banking agencies.
Bill then worked in New York City for a number of years, primarily for a publicly-traded company in partnership with New York Life Insurance Company, in their joint capital raising effort in the U.S., in Europe, and in Japan. Bill also served as Senior Special Counsel to a major investment bank in connection with sensitive internal evaluations. He reported to the Executive Committee and prepared certain officers for testimony before Congress. During the 1992 presidential campaign, Bill served on the New York finance committee for George H.W. Bush.
Bill’s service in government and public policy also included time as a Commissioner, and subsequently Chair of Texas’ omnibus regulatory agency, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which oversees more than two dozen licensed professions. Bill was appointed by Governor George W. Bush during his first year in office, and was elected Chair by fellow Commissioners. Of particular interest to Bill was his work with the Elimination of Architectural Barriers Act, as he worked closely with the agency’s executive staff to promote healthy dialogue and improved practices, as well as resolving conflict, between industry professionals and the disabled community.
Bill also has considerable experience in working with extended families who have shared financial and business interests to address challenges and to resolve conflicts. He has a track record of bringing reconciliation to families who have been in business disputes for generations.
Bill is part of an extended Austin family. He grew up on a ranch in Llano County, which he still calls home. He holds his undergraduate and law degrees from UT-Austin, and his Masters of Divinity degree from the University of the South (“Sewanee”).