John P. Thurber
Vice President for Public Affairs, Thomas Edison State University
John P. Thurber is vice president for Public Affairs at Thomas Edison State University. His portfolio includes responsibility for the University’s work in the areas of external affairs, advancement and university relations. He also serves as executive vice president for the Thomas Edison State University Foundation, Inc.
Mr. Thurber was the founding director of the University’s John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy and established its predecessor, the Trenton Office of Policy Studies. Under his leadership, this program received both the state and national Excel Award from the National Center for Public Productivity as a model program to enhance effectiveness in the public sector.
He received a B.A. in economics from Hampshire College in 1976. He received his J.D. summa cum laude from Rutgers University School of Law School in Newark, NJ in 1982. 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.
Following law school, Mr. Thurber served as law clerk to the Honorable Harold A. Ackerman, district judge 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 NJ Department of the Public Advocate. In this capacity, Mr. Thurber litigated public interest cases involving community development, consumer fraud, rights of homeless persons, beach fees, environmental protection, nuclear power plant licensing, insurance reform and other matters.
Mr. Thurber received the Shining Star Award from the American Cancer Society as well as the Program Development Award from the Leadership New Jersey Graduate Organization. He was selected as "Man of the Year" by the New Jersey Association of Family Food Centers for his work to improve access to emergency food assistance and the distribution of surplus food in the state. In addition to his membership on the Capital Health Board of Directors, Thurber is chairman of the Mercer County Improvement Authority, past president of the board of directors of the Trenton Downtown Association, immediate past chairman of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the board of the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. He is an elder of Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, NJ.