Col Owens lives in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky, with his wife Milly.
He graduated from Harvard College (B.A. 1969) and Boston University School of Law (J.D. 1977). He also studied at the Harvard Divinity School from 1969-1971.
Col worked as a Legislative Advocate with the Office of Kentucky Legal Services Programs from 1977-1983, and as a Senior Attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio from 1985–2015. In these positions he specialized in policy advocacy to support the working poor.
He presently teaches Poverty Law as an Adjunct Professor at the Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law. He previously taught at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Col serves on the executive committees of the Kentucky and Kenton County Democratic Parties. He chaired the county party from 2009-2017. He ran for State Representative in 2018. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Kentucky Voices for Health, a health care advocacy organization.
Col was a publicly elected member of the Board of Education for Covington Public Schools from 1993-2008, and chaired the board several times. He served on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky School Boards Association, and the School Board Members Advisory Committee to the Kentucky Commissioner of Education, which he chaired for a year. He is a lifetime member of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.
While working at Legal Aid in Ohio, Col served on Gov. John Kasich’s Advisory Council on Health Care Payment Innovation, and on several health care reform committees for Gov. Ted Strickland. He co-chaired Advocates for Ohio’s Future, a human services advocacy coalition, and Ohio Consumers for Health Coverage, a health care advocacy coalition.
Col has served on the United Way of Greater Cincinnati's Public Policy Committee since 1988. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati (now InterAct for Health), chairing it from 2008-2010, and on the Hamilton County Human Services Planning Committee.
Col was recognized as one of 100 Heroes at the United Way of Greater Cincinnati's Centennial Celebration in 2015. He received the Outstanding Health Care Advocacy Award from the Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio in 2016; the Dennis J. Murphy Award for outstanding leadership and advocacy on behalf of Legal Aid clients in Ohio from the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation in 2007; and the Milt Tenenbaum Community Service Award as the outstanding human services advocate in Ohio in 2002.