Josh began his term as Chester County Commissioner in January 2020 and is currently Vice-Chair. His priorities are to ensure that our communities thrive, create opportunities for working families, and safeguard the equality of all.
In his efforts to preserve the environment Josh worked alongside his fellow Commissioners to implement the county’s Climate Action Plan, create an Environmental and Energy Advisory Board, and 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 helped to secure additional funds toward open space preservation and park improvements for local municipalities that added to the already impressive 30% of Chester County that is preserved.
In his commitment to infrastructure Josh and his Commissioner partners worked to extend, improve, or complete the Chester Valley, Paoli Pike, and Schuylkill River Trails, increasing multi-modal mobility. Additionally, the Commissioners worked alongside Berks and Montgomery Counties to create the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority.
Josh is steadfast in his support of families, businesses, and non-profits. The Commissioners worked to add additional housing projects, increase community development, and launched the Chester County Partnership to End Homelessness. The Commissioners also oversaw the creation of a citizen committee of volunteers to review proposals from the public and private sectors to fund nearly $102 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
Josh continues working to ensure access to healthcare, having already helped in securing Christiana Care to reopen Jennersville Hospital in Southern Chester County. Additionally, Josh has shown his commitment to mental health through his support for the creation of a Teen Talk Line and working with partners to implement a 3-tiered approach to mental health, including a 24/7 crisis center and mobile mental health crisis teams.
Within County Government, Josh spearheaded the implementation of the county’s Priority Based Budgeting process that ensures the County budget reflects community values. 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 Ethics Policy in Chester County.
Beyond Chester County, Josh is involved in the Southern PA Business and County Partnership. As Co-Chair, Josh works to bring together leaders from businesses, the collar counties, and the City of Philadelphia to advance programs that will attract investments, develop workforce, enhance quality of life, and support infrastructure priorities. Josh also serves as an adjunct professor of Political Science at Lincoln University in Southern Chester County.
Prior to his election as 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.
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)
- 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)