January 19th 1972 – Ralph Bowen was born to Albert and Laurel Bowen of Christian Hill Village.
His educational journey began in 1975 at the Bethesda Primary School then to the Pares Secondary School before moving on to the Antigua State College in the Advanced Levels Department. Following this, he went on to complete a BSc in Economics and Accounting with the University of the West Indies (magna cum laude); an MBA (summa cum laude) with a dual concentration in Finance and International Business from Pace University Lubin School of Business; a Doctor of Jurisprudence (cum laude) from Pace University School of Law; an LLM in Taxation from New York University School of Law; and a Legal Education Certificate from Eugene Dupuch Law School.
Bowen officially began his law career in 1998 when he was admitted to the Bar in Connecticut, New York in 1999, and then in Antigua in 2003. Over the years, he has worked as a corporate attorney with international financial service firm, Deloitte as well as international law firm, Coudert Brothers LLP. In 2004, along with Trevor Kendall, he formed Bowen, Kendall, and Associates LLP, a full-service law firm with offices in New York City and Antigua and Barbuda.
Through his involvement in a wide range of initiatives, Bowen has demonstrated a strong commitment to the development of Antigua and Barbuda. His acts of national service include being a founding member and President of Antiguans and Barbudans for Constitutional Reform and Education (ABCRE), and founding and serving as President of the Antigua and Barbuda Heritage Foundation Inc., a New York-based not-for-profit corporation created to develop and expand education and healthcare services in Antigua and Barbuda and the Caribbean. He is also President of the Bethesda School Heritage Foundation.
Through the ABCRE platform, Bowen and his colleagues have been instrumental in creating greater public awareness on matters pertaining to the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda. As a medium for achieving this main objective, the organization hosts a weekly program, Constitution Corner, on Observer Radio where Ralph is one of the main, permanent hosts. Though the program listeners have been exposed to a complete reading and explanation of the Constitution.
Apart from education, Bowen and his partners in ABCRE have sought to effect constitutional change through the hosting of town hall meetings as well as mobilizing residents to petition for the changes they hope to see. One such mobilization effort, Fix The Oath, was put into place to encourage residents to petition their representatives to do away with pledging to the crown and its successors in the Oath of Allegiance and replace it instead with pledging to the constitution, nation and people of Antigua and Barbuda following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. On October 24th, 2022 with the assistance of the Parliamentary Representative for Barbuda, Hon. Trevor Walker, the ABCRE Private Members Bill titled the Antigua and Barbuda Constitution Amendment Bill of 2022 was laid in Parliament.
Beverly George, A member of ABCRE’s core team, in sharing her experience working with Bowen states: ‘Ralph Bowen’s love for Antigua and Barbuda runs deep. I stand in awe when I see first-hand, his dedication and commitment to sharing his knowledge of our history and laws, and his constant reminder to everyone young and old, that true political power resides with them. Ralph has an alphabet soup of credentials behind his name. He is well qualified to dine with kings and presidents, yet he is most comfortable sitting at the corner with the fishermen, the farmers, and hucksters. That is because he knows these are the smartest people in the land. May God continue to bless him, and grant him a long life, allowing him to complete his task.’
His leadership of the Bethesda School Heritage Foundation Inc., a Not for Profit Corporation whose objective is to rebuild and preserve the legacy of education at the Bethesda Primary School has done seminal work to recognise outstanding contributors to the Bethesda & Christian Hill Communities and unearthed the pivotal contribution of Vigo Blake and enslaved visionary who led the construction of a school in the Bethesda community in 1813 (May 29), for which the Foundation leads the celebration of Vigo Blake Day annually.
In addition to the implementation of social initiatives, Bowen has taken time to give back through the dissemination of knowledge by giving lectures on his various legal practice areas as well as on finance and economics, wealth creation and finding one’s destiny and purpose in life. In 2010, the positive social impact of his work was recognized when he was a recipient of the Pineapple Awards awarded by the Antigua and Barbuda Consulate in New York.
In reflection, Bowen notes that the motto that has carried him through life is ‘the true measure of a man’s life is not the value of the things he accumulated but rather the value of the memories that survive him’.