David Thornburgh

By David B. Thornburgh, Executive Director of Fels Institute of Government Like any good public-policy watcher, I tuned in to the President’s State of the Union address last week.  My reaction?  As a speech…meh.  More important to me, though, was the question about what we can reasonably expect the President to deliver from the agenda he outlined in his address.   It’s in...
Fels Executive Director David Thornburgh was recently asked by National Public Radio (NPR) to comment on their story about "The Most Dangerous Desk Jobs in Washington", which concerned the role of those leading federal agencies under a very public microscope after events such as a natural disaster or unflattering report.  Click here to go to NPR's website.
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A verbal bouquet of things to love about February - snowstorms not included!
Recently for KYW News Radio, David Thornburgh discussed how a person's moving habits throughout his or her life may relate to his or her intelligence. Read the transcription of his on-air piece below. I’ve always been fascinated by the demographics of mobility0. I’m actually thinking about getting a “demography is destiny” tattoo, which is why a new study on mobility (i.e. who moves, why, and...
This week for KYW News Radio, David Thornburgh discusses how clusters of industry in cities relates to their potential for economic growth. Read the whole story and tune in below: I’m a big fan of Jim Russel, who writes a blog for the California-based Miller-McCune publication. He asks and tries to answer questions about the economy, growth, and urban decline. Plus, he’s a Pittsburgh guy like me...
In his segment on KYW News Radio, Executive Director David Thornburgh considers what it takes to be more productive. Here’s the six point plan from blogger Eric Barker. Make it part of your back-from-the-beach resolutions. First, manage your mood. Everything becomes easier once you have a positive approach to it. Two, don’t check email in the morning. Your inbox too easily becomes your agenda...
In the short time after last March’s Public Policy Challenge, 2014 Executive Director Elizabeth Tatum recognized there was much to reflect on her past year planning the Challenge and working with teams. Sitting down in the Fels Mansion before her May graduation, she is accompanied by Fels Institute Executive Director David Thornburgh to discuss their lessons learned—and, while the conversation...
Internet has enabled a whole new category of companies, including Uber and Lift car sharing, Airbnb rent-a-room, and eBay, that have been dubbed the “sharing economy.” A recent report from Airbanb states that in the last year they generated over $600 million in economic activity in New York alone. This is enough to support the equivalent of roughly 4,500 jobs. The implications of this new...
We have all heard the adage that small businesses are the engine of our national economy and create most of our new jobs from countless politicians.  However, we’ve known for 35 years that it’s not so much small firms that create jobs, but in fact new firms.  We call these startups. In round numbers and in any given year, new firms create two thirds of all new jobs, with most of them...
Comparing one city to another in economic or competitive terms is a little like comparing their cultural scenes. There is no such thing as the best city or the best cultural scene, only that the best of them are distinctive and complex. Which for business strategy fans is reassuring, because that is exactly what Michael Porter stressed on his classic works on corporate strategy - strive to be...
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