Graham W. McGowan, 60, a retired administrative law judge on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who had served as a lawyer in the executive and legislative branches of the government, died of cancer Monday at Fairfax Hospital. He lived in McLean.

Judge McGowan was born in St. Albans, Vt. He earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Notre Dame. After World War II service in the Army Air Corps, in which he trained bomber pilots in the United States, he returned to Notre Dame and earned a law degree.

In the 1950s, he was a local prosecutor in Indiana, a member of the law faculty of Notre Dame and then an assistant U.S. attorney. He moved to the Washington area in 1957 and was appointed special assistant to the secretary of Commerce for international organization affairs. He later became general counsel for the Federal Housing Administration.

From 1963 to 1965, Judge McGowan was staff counsel for the Senate Commerce Committee. For the next seven years, he worked for various government agencies and also was a private consultant.

From 1972 to 1975, he was legal assistant to the commissioner of the Federal Power Commission. In April 1975, he became director of legislative liaison for the Federal Energy Administration, now the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and in September of that year was named an administrative law judge of the agency. He retired last August for reasons of health.

Survivors include his wife, the former Alice Shafer, of McLean; one daughter, Shannon B., also of McLean; five sons, Gregory W., of Bluemont, W.Va., Brian H., of Orlando, Fla., and Patrick M., Kevin C. and Marc J., all of McLean; two sisters, Mary M. Modina of Orlando, and Barbara Fayette of West Springfield, Mass., and one granddaughter.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions in Judge McGowan's memory to the St. Luke's Catholic Church Building Fund, 7005 Georgetown Pike, McLean, Va.