Fels welcomes Thornburgh

David Thornburgh has consulted nonprofit and for-profit clients on strategic planning and policy issues, helped to nurture economic growth as director of Wharton’s Small Business Development Center, and worked as a passionate advocate for the Philadelphia region.

Starting this fall, he’ll put his skills in navigating the halls of business and government to work as Executive Director of Penn’s Fels Institute of Government, the 70-year-old institute that trains current and future leaders for public service.

Thornburgh succeeds Donald Kettl, who will return to full-time research and teaching in the Department of Political Science and will also continue to serve on the Fels faculty and academic advisory committee. Under Kettl’s leadership, Fels worked to improve the performance of government and strengthened its curriculum to better prepare future government leaders. Fels also broadened its connections with its alumni and developed new programs to improve the ability of government officials to meet their greatest challenges.

Thornburgh comes to Fels from the Econsult Corporation, a Philadelphia-based regional economic consulting firm, where he worked as a senior advisor. From 2006 to 2007, Thornburgh served as CEO of the Alliance for Regional Stewardship, a national best-practice network of public- and private-sector leaders committed to building globally competitive regions. He was also executive director of the Pennsylvania Economy League in Philadelphia from 1994 to 2006.

“With his deep and rich background in public finance, David Thornburgh stands in the rich tradition of Fels and its 70 years of leadership for results,” Kettl says of his successor. “He’s ideally positioned to help the Institute take the next step in its history.”

Thornburgh holds a B.A. from Haverford College and a master’s of public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a frequent commentator on public policy and regional development issues and has been recognized by Leadership Philadelphia as one of the 101 most trusted and respected civic “connectors” in the area.

Originally published Sept. 4, 2008.

Originally published on September 4, 2008