Executive Communications

For the Chancellor and Provost

Chris Bowman in front of a peace sign


334 Mrak Hall
530-752-3140 (office)
530-574-8636 (mobile)

Learn more about Chris Bowman on LinkedIn and follow him @BestBeatOnEarth

We articulate the values, priorities and messages of UC Davis and its chancellor and provost in speeches and other communications for a wide variety of audiences within our university community and beyond, across California, the nation and the world.

Chris Bowman, speechwriter

Chris has lived up to his namesake patron saint of travelers. By age 12, he had lived in nine states and logged thousands of air miles in the cockpits of small planes with his dad, a World War II naval aviator turned traveling aircraft salesman.

Chris’s career has kept him on the move. He became a newspaper reporter straight out of UC Davis, working for metropolitan dailies in Washington, D.C., Riverside, Calif. and Hartford, Conn. before settling in Sacramento to pursue environmental reporting and raise a family with his wife, Linda Ackley, a water attorney and former radio reporter. Earlier in their careers, the couple studied a year at Harvard on a Nieman Fellowship for journalists.

As a journalist, Chris’s investigative stories spurred several governmental reforms in protecting the public from hazards on the job, on the road and in the environment. His persistence as a young courthouse reporter initiated lawsuits that led to two landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions that expanded public access to criminal trials.

In 2012, Chris returned to his alma mater as communications director with the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences. He submerged himself in the California drought then, in 2016, resurfaced as a speechwriter for the chancellor and provost, articulating their views for a wide variety of audiences. Chris continues to be immersed in watersheds, though as a fly fisherman and competitive oarsman with River City Rowing Club in West Sacramento.

What are people surprised to learn about you?

I played in the Cal Aggie Marching Band-Uh! — drums (1973-’74).

What’s on your bucket list?

To learn how to ice skate backward, gracefully

Do you own any bragging rights?

Once, as a news reporter, I rummaged through the belongings of a terrorist group and found incriminating evidence of a plot to blow up federal power dams on the Colorado River. The FBI used my find in a larger case that sent four men to prison.