David Thornburgh's blog

Fels Executive Director David Thornburgh was quoted in a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review piece that examined distressed cities in Southwestern Pennsylvania. A native of the region, he offered perspective on population decline, pension crises, and the possibility of a turnaround. Read the full article.
In the Philadelphia Inquirer’s June 18th article titled “Planned civil service changes irk N.J. state workers” Fels Executive Director, David Thornburgh discussed New Jersey Governor Chris Christies’ plan to streamline the civil service promotion process. To read his commentary and the full article, please click the link below. Inquirer Article
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...
As temperatures rise this summer, the 2012 Presidential Election is heating up! Voters are evaluating the qualities they hope will characterize the leader they choose in November. With the state of the economy featuring so prominently in debates and political discourse, many are looking for a candidate with a background in business and a demonstrated ability to heal the nation’s economic woes....
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!
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...
The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, the long standing business led civic organization, just held its annual leadership exchange, which brought together 200 leaders in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors in a strategic retreat to consider the region’s key challenges and opportunities. This exchange serves a reminder of just how critical diverse mutli-sector leadership teams are to...
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