Josh Maxwell

Josh Maxwell is a lifelong Chester County resident whose priorities are to ensure that all our communities thrive, to create opportunities for working families, and to affirm and safeguard the equality of all people.  

Josh began his term as Chester County Commissioner in January 2020 and is currently Vice-Chair. 

Josh has worked to preserve the environment and fight climate change.  In his efforts to support green energy across the county, Josh worked to adopt the county’s new Climate Action Plan and to activate a clean energy financing program for commercial property owners (C-PACE). Additionally, Chester County was recognized as an US EPA Green Power Partner and is participating in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Power Agreement Partnership. Josh worked to secure an additional $4.2 million in open space preservation and park improvement grants for Chester County municipalities. These efforts will add the already impressive 30% of county land that is preserved or used for agriculture. As part of his work on behalf of the environment, Josh has promoted and worked to extend the circuit trails in the area to increase multi-modal mobility. 

While on the board, Josh has been steadfast in his support of small businesses, non-profits, and education.  The Commissioners oversaw the creation of the Restore Chester County initiative. Restore Chester County brought together business, economic, education, and government leaders to form a core team of a COVID-19 Business Task Force.  The task force focused on providing businesses with best practices for reopening and restoring Chester County's quality of place.  

Within County Government, Josh has helped spearhead the efforts to implement the county’s new Priority Based Budgeting process that ensures the County budget reflects the values of the community, builds community connections, and is outcome driven. Josh also created the first employee group to recommend policies and actions to the Commissioners regarding Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and led efforts to implement the first ever Ethics Policy in Chester County.   

Josh extends his efforts beyond Chester County through his involvement in the Southern PA Business and County Partnership. Serving as Co-Chair, Josh works to bring together businesses and leaders representing Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties, and the City of Philadelphia to advance programs that will attract public and private investment, retain and develop workforce, enhance the region’s quality of life, and support infrastructure priorities. 

As Commissioner, Josh is committed to supporting Chester County residents through volunteer efforts. Partnering with the Chester County Community Foundation, Josh participated in the 2021 New York City Marathon to raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention efforts led by The Chester County Suicide Prevention Task Force. Additionally, Josh served on the Chester County United Way COVID Task Force that offered crucial support throughout the COVID health crisis, awarding 132 grants to 91 organizations, and immediate financial support to over 300 individuals and families. 

Prior to his election as Commissioner, Josh served 10 years as Mayor of his hometown of Downingtown. Josh and his wife Blair Thornburgh, an author of books for children and teens, reside in Downingtown, PA.  

Boards and Commissions 


  • Board Member, Chester County Conservation District (CCCD) 
  • Board Member, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC)
  • Board Member, Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC) 
  • Board Member, Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC) 
  • Board Member, West Chester Business Improvement District Authority (BID) 
  • Board Member, Ideas x Innovation Network (i2N) 
  • Ex-officio Board Member, Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) 
  • Ex-officio Board Member, Coatesville 2nd Century Alliance, Community and Economic Development 

Education


  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, West Chester University 
  • Master’s Degree in Public Administration, University of Pennsylvania 
  • Center for Excellence in County Leadership (CEL) Program, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP)