Josh is Chair of the Board of Commissioners and has served on the board since 2020. Josh cares deeply about being available to every resident and utilizing the county government to foster economic growth, improve access to accessible and affordable housing, make the government more efficient, and preserve our open spaces.
In working to foster economic growth, Josh supports transportation initiatives and workforce development. To advance access to public transportation, Josh and his colleagues created the County’s first Community Transit Department, which houses the ChesCo Connect bus service. To advance commuter rail, Josh supported the creation of the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority and was a staunch supporter of the restoration of SEPTA service to the City of Coatesville. Additionally, Josh and fellow commissioners, support the County’s Workforce Development Board, specifically their Project RECONNECT and their Near Completers Program, which assist residents seeking to complete their education to allow for greater career mobility and increased economic competitiveness in the region
In his commitment to affordable and equitable housing opportunities, Josh supported the approval of millions to help fund six affordable housing units across Chester County and approved funding capital improvements and renovations to existing properties. Additionally, Josh supported the distribution of the Whole Home Repair Program, which assists eligible low-to-moderate-income homeowners in making critical repairs, so their homes are habitable, safe, accessible, and healthy. Josh and fellow Commissioners also worked with partners to create the Chester County Partnership to End Homelessness, a community-based collaborative that strives to end homelessness by actively promoting equitable access to safe housing.
Within County Government, Josh strongly supported the implementation of the county’s Priority-Based Budgeting process that ensures the County budget reflects community values and creates stronger connections between government and the community. Josh also championed the implementation of Managing for Results, an ongoing performance management system connecting the processes of planning, budgeting, managing, and evaluating. In support of full transparency, result outcomes are published in the County’s Annual Budget.
Since 2020, Josh has supported the expansion of our trail network, leading to 70% of residents living within 1 mile of a park or trail, increased preserved open and agricultural spaces to over 30% of the County, and worked with regional partners to bring down energy costs for taxpayers while investing in renewable energy.
Josh also serves as an adjunct professor of Political Science at Lincoln University, the first degree-granting HBCU in the country, which is in Chester County. Before he was elected Commissioner, Josh served 10 years as Mayor of Downingtown, where he resides with his wife Blair Thornburgh, an author of books for children and teens, and their son, Riordan.
Boards and Commissions
- Chair, Chester County Board of Elections
- Chair, Chester County Prison Board of Inspectors
- 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)
- Board Member, The Alliance for Health Equity
- Ex-officio Board Member, Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC)
- Ex-officio Board Member, Coatesville 2nd Century Alliance, Community and Economic Development
- 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)
- Academy for Excellence in County Government, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP)