Cowley joined the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 2005 as executive director of agricultural competitions and exhibits. He was promoted Monday.
Cowley takes over for Leroy Shafer, who served as interim president and CEO since Skip Wagner departed in April. Wagner resigned to lead Texas A&M University's 12th Man Foundation.
Shafer will return to his role as vice president and chief operating officer for the 81-year-old Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
The 2014 expo runs March 4-23 at Reliant Park.
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