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David Thornburgh

President and CEO

David Thornburgh is a nationally recognized “civic entrepreneur” who, in the course of career, has launched a series of innovative high impact initiatives to tackle tough community problems.

He was named President and CEO of the Committee of Seventy, the Philadelphia-based good government group, in November, 2014. Founded in 1904, Seventy has long been a champion for a better political process, better government, and engaged and informed citizens, in Philadelphia and in Pennsylvania.  Among its many accomplishments, Seventy was instrumental in enacting campaign contribution limits and a powerful Board of Ethics—among the toughest in the nation--in Philadelphia after the “pay to play” scandals came to light in 2007.

Thornburgh came to Seventy from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, where he had served as Executive Director since 2008. 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.  Read David's full bio here.

Follow David on Twitter at @davidthornburgh.

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Lauren Cristella

Chief Program Officer
It was Lauren's passion for active citizenship, strong public leadership and practical policy-making that led her to Broad Street and the organization that shares her dedication. As the Chief Program Officer of the Committee of Seventy, Lauren is responsible for board development, external affairs, the Buchholz Fellowship Program, and programming, including the WeVote initiative. 
Lauren also serves as the President of the League of Women Voters of Philadelphia, where she is focused on rebuilding the organization and equipping volunteers to have a positive impact on elections at the grassroot level.
Prior to joining C70, Lauren was the Director of Student Affairs & Strategic Operations at Penn's Fels Institute of Government. She spent seven years ensuring that students had excellent internships and job prospects in government, nonprofits, and private firms that serve the public interest. She also secured a number of record-breaking gifts to Fels, in addition to overseeing dozens of events each year and general operations.
Before joining Fels, Lauren spent five fun years at the National Constitution Center. During her tenure there, Lauren worked in the education department, where she first began to wish that people would celebrate Constitution Day (September 17th) without being legally obligated to do so. She later joined the Center's senior management team as the Director of Special Projects for the CEO. In that position, Lauren led the team that created the Center's blog, Constitution Daily, and facilitated the creation and adoption of a new five- year strategic plan. Lauren was also a member of the Center's international team, which was responsible for the creation of the Being We the People exhibition and website, as well as a guide to voting in national elections for Afghan citizens, created in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme.
Lauren received her bachelor's degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where she majored in politics, and interned at the International Center for Terrorism Studies. She went on to receive her master's degree from the University of Essex in Colchester, England in Ethics, Politics and Public Policy.
Lauren, her husband Doug, son Theo, and their dog, Utley, reside in South Philadelphia so they can easily feed their love of Philly sports teams and good food.
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Patrick Christmas

Policy Director

Patrick taught biology and forensic science at Fels High School in Northeast Philadelphia after graduating from Swarthmore College in 2008. After five years in the classroom and having begun studies at the Fels Institute of Government, he joined the Committee of Seventy in August 2013 – in part, because he believes in Seventy’s nonpartisan mission to advance better government, but also because he was seeking the "Fels Trifecta." (Samuel S. Fels was on Seventy's original 1904 Executive Board.)

Patrick is responsible for managing Seventy's policy projects and advocacy campaigns, in addition to supporting its civic programming, communications, and social media. From 2014 to 2017, he oversaw the evolution of Seventy's signature Election Day field operation to a broader set of civic initiatives, including an Election Ambassador Corps for high school students, voter experience survey, and comprehensive online voter guide and toolkit. His current duties focus on advancing reforms at the city and state level, which involves staffing the Better Philadelphia Elections and Open Primaries PA coalitions as well as Seventy's Philadelphia Resolution 1 initiative.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @Pat_Christmas.

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Dan Bright

Senior Director of Finance and Operations

Dan joined Seventy, after graduating from Temple University, in 2008.  He has learned over the years that for our local and state governments to work effectively and efficiently, you need to have an organization that is working tirelessly to educate and engage the citizenry.  Seventy's campaign to right-size city government, ensure that elections are conducted fairly and informing and engaging the citizenry will make the city and state places where people will want to live, work and visit.

Dan oversees the organization's operations, finances and administration.  He also assists in the policy and program initiatives and fundraising.

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Justin Villere

Draw the Lines Chief of Staff

Justin serves as the Chief of Staff for Draw the Lines PA, the education and engagement initiative run by the Committee of Seventy. A native of Colorado, Justin has lived in Philly since 2012 and continues to find gems that make this one of America's greatest cities. Justin is a 2-time AmeriCorps alumnus, possessing a Bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master's in Public Administration from Cornell University. You might see him running and riding on the Schuykill River and Wissahickon trails. 

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Paul Droesch

Senior Research Fellow

After 36 years as a writer, editor and critic at TV Guide, where I covered politics (to the extent that TV Guide covers politics), I retired in 2012 and almost immediately began volunteering at Seventy, where politics is a considerably bigger part of the mix. I wanted to be part of this organization because I’m fascinated by public policy and the political process, because I love Philadelphia and want to see it thrive, and because I know that sound policy and clean politics will go a long way toward making that happen.