Committee of 70 Names New CEO

David Thornburgh, executive director of the Fels Institute of Government at Penn, will assume the role previously held by Zack Stalberg.


Election watchdog group the Committee of 70 has named David Thornburgh as its new CEO. He has been the Executive Director of the Fels Institute of Government at Penn for the past seven years.

“Thanks to David’s strong background in public policy and economic development, we are confident that he is the right person to lead Seventy into the future,” Committee of 70 board chairman Michael Carbone said in a statement.

Before he was the director at Fels, Thornburgh was President and CEO of the Alliance for Regional Stewardship and Executive Director of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia.

“In the early 1900’s, Philadelphia entrepreneur and philanthropist Samuel Fels helped found three great civic leadership organizations: The Committee of Seventy, the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia and the Fels Institute of Government,” Thornburgh said in a statement. “Having led two of those three, I’m thrilled to complete the triangle by leading the Committee of Seventy, and look forward to engaging with all Philadelphians and the public and private leadership of the city in working for innovative and effective government in Philadelphia.” (Unlike most press release quotes, this one is boring enough to have actually been said.)

Former Daily News editor Zack Stalberg led the Committee of 70 from 2005 until earlier this year, when he announced he was moving to New Mexico. “As the Redford character says at a point in The Electric Horseman, ‘I have just retired from public life,’” Stalberg wrote at the time for some reason.

Ellen Kaplan has been the interim CEO since Stalberg’s departure. Thornburgh will start his job in December.

[Committee of 70]