Political Reform (redistricting, voting security, voting reforms, campaign finance, ethics and integrity); Entrepreneurship and Economic Development; Social and Civic Entrepreneurship


David Thornburgh has served as President and CEO of the Committee of Seventy, the Philadelphia-based good government group, since November, 2014.  Under his leadership Seventy launched a major initiative to push back on partisan redistricting called Draw the Lines, a citizen mapping project which will give any Pennsylvanian the data and software they can use to draw Congressional and legislative maps.  The project is expected to engage over 10,000 Pennsylvanians,  bringing unprecedented transparency and civic engagement to what has been a secretive partisan exercise.

He is a nationally recognized “civic entrepreneur” who, in the course of career, has launched innovative high impact initiatives to tackle tough community problems.  As Executive Director of  the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, he created a national Public Policy Challenge student competition that drew teams from 12 top universities to think through new ways to solve old problems.  As Executive Director of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia (a regional “think and do tank”) from 1994 to 2006, he co-founded Graduate! Philadelphia, an innovative approach to encourage adults to come back to college to complete their degree; Campus Philly, an organization dedicated to increasing the magnetic pull of the Philadelphia region for college students and young college graduates; and, an annual Leadership Exchange that enables a group of Philadelphia leaders to travel to another region to learn about promising practices around critical community issues.  From 1988 to 1994 he served as Director of the Wharton Small Business Development Center, the consulting and training arm of The Wharton School’s Entrepreneurial Center, where he founded The Enterprise Center, a nationally recognized business accelerator targeted to minority businesses, and cofounded the Philadelphia 100, an annual celebration of the region’s fastest growing privately held companies.

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 taught master’s level course in public policy, public leadership, and economic development at Penn and Drexel.

Thornburgh holds a B.A. in political science from Haverford College and a master's degree in public policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Curriculum Vitae


Courses Taught

  • Politics, Policy, and Public Leadership  
  • Entrepreneurship and Economic Development  
  • Politics and Public Leadership  
  • Art and Practice of Policy Analysis