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John P. Thurber

John ThurberVice President for Public Affairs

John P. Thurber is vice president for Public Affairs at Thomas Edison State University, where he is responsible for the University’s work in the area of advancement. He also serves as executive vice president for the Thomas Edison State University Foundation, Inc.

Prior to his appointment as vice president, Thurber was the founding director of The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy and its predecessor the Trenton Office of Policy Studies. Under his leadership, the Institute provided policy research and analysis for the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association, the city of Trenton and a variety of other partners, earning statewide and national recognition for these innovative programs.

Thurber earned a BA in economics from Hampshire College and a JD with highest honors from Rutgers University School of Law – Newark. He was the recipient of the Justice Henry H. Ackerson Jr. Prize for distinction in legal skills and was selected as research editor of the Rutgers Law Review.

During law school, Thurber interned in the chambers of the Honorable Leonard Garth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and worked with the New York offices of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Following law school, Thurber served for two years as law clerk to the Honorable Harold A. Ackerman of the U.S. District Court for New Jersey. Thereafter, he served as assistant deputy public advocate with the Division of Public Interest Advocacy of the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate, where he litigated public interest cases involving community development, consumer fraud, emergency housing for homeless individuals, environmental protection and other matters.

Prior to attending law school, Thurber worked for two years as assistant to the director of Urban Industrial Programs of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland.

Thurber has received the Champion for Business Award from the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Shining Star Award from the American Cancer Society and the Program Development Award from the Leadership New Jersey Graduate Organization. He was selected as "Man of the Year" by the N.J. Association of Family Food Centers.

Thurber serves as chair of the Mercer County Improvement Authority and chair of the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. He is a past chair of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Trenton Downtown Association and the Mercer unit of the American Cancer Society. He is a member of the board of directors of Capital Health, the Center of Theological Inquiry and the Bunbury Fund. Thurber is a ruling elder of Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton. He is also a member of the bar of New Jersey and New York.

Toni M. Terry, BA

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