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John K. Thornburgh

John K. Thornburgh is a senior partner based in Pittsburgh, PA. His 30 years of leadership experience as an executive or governing board member in healthcare, higher education, a Fortune 50 corporation and not-for-profit organizations gives him broad-based expertise in governance, recruitment and retention issues.

John specializes in executive search assignments for higher education, healthcare, and academic medicine clients who are seeking key executive roles as CEO/president/chancellor, provost, CFO, dean, vice president and other prominent positions.

Prior to joining Witt/Kieffer, John maintained an executive leadership consulting practice and provided counsel to boards, search committees and CEOs of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. In addition, he was president/CEO of a financial services firm and managing director of the Pittsburgh office of a global executive search firm.  Earlier in his career, John was president of a not-for-profit economic development organization and gained significant executive experience in marketing, public relations and sales roles at Verizon Corporation.

John is currently Chairman of The Children’s Institute, a nationally renowned children’s rehabilitation medical center in Pittsburgh. In the higher education field, he has served on the Council of Trustees of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, as a member of the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, as a trustee of California University of Pennsylvania and as a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences. He is a member of the Association of Governing Boards and the Pennsylvania Association of College Trustees. John has had extensive leadership experience in community organizations, among them serving as the Chair of Leadership Pittsburgh.

B.A., Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA
Executive Business Management Program, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Durham, NC


Thought Leadership


Current Searches

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania | Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs | Bloomsburg, PA
Emory University | Dean, School of Law | Atlanta, GA
Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania | Senior Vice President for Advocacy and External Affairs | Harrisburg, PA
New York Institute of Technology | Vice President for Enrollment Management | New York , NY
Washington Health System | Chief Financial Officer | Washington, PA

Recent Searches

View Prior Placements

John K. Thornburgh
Senior Partner
603 Stanwix Street
Suite 2075
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: 412-209-2666
Fax: 412-880-5099
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