David Thornburgh is a nationally recognized “civic entrepreneur” who throughout his career has created and led high impact initiatives to promote economic development, political reform, and good government in Pennsylania.
He was named a Senior Advisor for the Committee of Seventy in January 2022 after serving as its President and CEO since November, 2014. Seventy is Pennsylvania’s oldest and largest good government group and over the years has championed measures to limit the role of money in politics, make government more accountable and transparent, and educate and engage citizens in the political process. In his current role he Chairs Seventy’s signature Draw the LInes PA initiative, which he co-founded and which has enlisted 7,211 PA citizens since 2019 in drawing their own congressional maps and advocating for more citizen engagement in the redistricting process. He also serves as Chair of Open Primaries PA, an effort incubated at C70 which seeks to open primary elections to the nearly 1 million PA voters who currently can’t vote for candidates in primary elections.
Thornburgh came to Seventy from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, where he served as Executive Director for almost 7 years. While at Fels he doubled applications to the program, launched an innovative hybrid Executive MPA program and, during Fels’ 75th Anniversary campaign in 2012 quadrupled alumni giving and carried out 12 public programs that attracted over 1,200 alumni and political and community leaders. He also created a national Public Policy Challenge student competition in partnership with Governing magazine that drew teams from 12 top universities.
Thornburgh has received a number of awards for his professional and civic leadership. In 2006 he was recognized as one of the 101 most trusted and respected civic “connectors” in the Philadelphia area by LEADERSHIP Philadelphia. In 2000, he was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship and traveled to Australia and New Zealand to learn about entrepreneurial development and public management in those countries. He has also appeared regularly in local and national media, is an accomplished keynote speaker, and has moderated and participated in dozens of panel discussions and roundtables on a variety of topics.