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About Us

Forum Overview

Established in 2007, the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy provides a unique opportunity to foster public education and civic action on important public policy issues, building on Thornburgh’s legacy by creating a framework for advancing his vision of creating effective and principled governance.The Forum engages in a variety of activities that enhance the accountability and integrity of governmental institutions at the local, state, and national levels. Internationally, it seeks to advance those values as well as the commitment to rule of law for all levels of government.

Through annual lectures and a University-based archive spanning Thornburgh’s diverse career, the Forum is intended to develop program relationships with schools and departments across the University.  Over the past several years, recent program offerings were held in partnership with the University Honors CollegeGraduate School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Law, Center for International Legal EducationSchool of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Joseph M. Katz Graduate Shool of Business and College of Business Administration, and the Global Studies Center, University Center for International Studies. 

The Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy makes Faculty Academic support grants available designed to encourage both undergraduate and graduate faculty to expand relevant utilization of the extensive resources of the Dick Thornburgh Papers housed in the Archive Service Center.  For more information and to apply please go to: Faculty Award Application

The Dick Thornburgh Undergraduate Summer Fellowships are available to support undergraduate research into issues of governance addressed in Dick Thornburgh’s long and eminent service in national and international leadership.  For more information and to apply please go to: Student Award Application

The Dick Thornburgh Prize for Legal Service and the J. Evans Rose, Jr.  Prize for Public Service award are each awarded annually to one law school student whose goal is to pursue a career in public service upon graduation. For more information and to apply please go to: Law School Award Application

The Dick Thornburgh Forum Disability Service Award is available each year to a University of Pittsburgh student from any campus whose service has made a difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities.  Applications will be accepted in the Fall of 2018.

Appointed in October 2010, Forum Director Ed McCord is the Director of Programming and Special Projects at the Honors College and an affiliate professor of philosophy and faculty member in the environmental studies program at Pitt.  McCord succeeds inaugural Forum Director, David Y. Miller, who is a professor and director of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) Innovation Clinic in the University of Pittsburgh.

As the Director, McCord continues to expand and integrate the Forum’s offerings in collaboration with the exceptional academic programs of the University Honors College to the larger University academic community and develop programs that reflect the career and interests of Pitt alumnus and trustee Dick Thornburgh.

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Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, Governor Dick Thornburgh, Bill Strickland, and Dean Edward Stricker. Oct. 8, 2014