• david thornburgh

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 Advancement 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 Advancement Officer of the Committee of Seventy, Lauren is responsible for board development, external affairs, the Buchholz Fellowship Program, and programming.
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 the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, Sixers and good food.
  • dan bright

Dan Bright

Director of Operations

Dan joined Seventy, after graduating from Temple University, in 2008.  He has learned over the years that for our local government to work effectively and efficiently, you need to have an organization that is working tirelessly for the betterment of the City.  Seventy's permanent campaign to right-size city government, ensure that elections are conducted fairly and informing and engaging Philadelphia's citizenry will make this city a place where people will want to live, work and visit.  He enjoys being part of this campaign each and every day.

  • pat christmas

Patrick Christmas

Policy Program Manager

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 analysis, advocacy campaigns and civic programming, in addition to supporting its communications and social media. Since 2014, he’s overseen the evolution of the organization’s signature Election Program, which now includes a high school Election Ambassador Corps, Voter Experience Survey, Voter Rights and Responsibilities campaign, and a comprehensive Voter Guide. He helped organize in 2016 and continues to staff the Better Philadelphia Elections Coalition.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @Pat_Christmas.

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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.

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Chris Satullo

Civic Engagement Consultant

Chris Satullo was vice president for news and civic dialogue at WHYY/NewsWorks from 2008 to 2015. He joined the public media service in 2008 after nearly 20 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer. While at WHYY, he launched the NewsWorks.org website, the radio programs NewsWorks Tonight and The Pulse, and two award-winning statewide  reporting initiatives, StateImpact Pa. and Keystone Crossroads. At the Inquirer, he served as editorial page editor and a columnist, among various positions., and led the Great Expectations civic dialogue project on the 2007 Philadelphia city elections. A nationally known expert in civic engagement, in 2006, he co-founded the Penn Project for Civic Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania. He has won more than 60 awards for columns, editorials, reporting and civic engagement. Before coming to the Inquirer, he worked at the Express newspaper in Easton, Pa., where he was assistant managing editor and wrote a syndicated column. A graduate of Williams College and a former Fulbright Fellow, he lives in Philadelphia.

Follow Chris on Twitter at @chrissatullo.

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Justin Villere

Civic Engagement Consultant

Justin serves as Civic Engagement Consultant for 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. 

Claire Mao

Public Policy Intern
Haverford College '20
​Political Science and Government

Kevin Myers

Public Policy Intern
University of Pennsylvania '19
​Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Major (concentration in distributive justice), minor in Science, Technology, and Society

Ann Riddle

Public Policy Intern

Villanova MA '18, MPA '20

Hiram College '16
Political Science, minors in Public Leadership and Communications

Andy Tisdel

Digital Democracy Fellow
Brandeis University MPP/MBA '19


College of Wooster '12
​English, minor in Political Science