Erskine Boyce Bowles (pronounced /ˈɜrskən ˈboʊlz/; born August 8, 1945) is an American businessman and political figure from North Carolina. He served from 2005 to 2010 as the President of the University of North Carolina system. In 1997–98 he served as White House Chief of Staff and he also ran unsuccessfully for a North Carolina United States Senate seat in 2002 and 2004.
Bowles was appointed in 2010 to co-chair President Barack Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with Alan K. Simpson.
Bowles was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina and is the son of Jessamine Woodward Boyce Bowles and the late Hargrove "Skipper" Bowles, Jr., a Democratic politician who once ran for Governor of North Carolina in 1972, but lost. Siblings include Hargrove Bowles III, Mary Holland Bowles Blanton and the late Martha Thomas Bowles. Bowles graduated from Virginia Episcopal School before attending college. Bowles matriculated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity and graduated with a business degree. After briefly serving in the United States Coast Guard, Bowles then enrolled in Columbia Business School, where he earned an MBA.