Keith A. Orris, Senior Vice President for Corporate Relations and Economic Development, is responsible for leading development and implementation of Drexel University’s economic development strategy. Keith is responsible for broadening and deepening relationships with corporate partners, ensuring that Drexel leverages relationships across all dimensions of possible interaction, from research partnerships to co-op opportunities to philanthropy and more. He is helping to propel Drexel forward as one of the most impactful universities in the Philadelphia region and across the tri-state area.
Under Keith’s leadership, Drexel continues to work with businesses, entrepreneurs and government leaders to become a nexus for research, technology transfer and economic development. His focus is also the Innovation Neighborhood, Drexel’s research-based live/learn/work development at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, and he serves as liaison with Amtrak, SEPTA and PennDOT.
Most recently, Keith was senior vice president for community and government affairs for Lancaster General Health in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was responsible for campus master planning and strategic capital projects as well as real estate management of the health system’s ambulatory and scattered site properties. He co-chaired a physician alignment initiative focused on building broader business relationships with medical practices in the region. In addition, Keith was responsible for community and government affairs for LGH involving local, state and federal entities.
Prior to joining Lancaster General Health in 2011, Keith was vice president for administrative services and business, government and community relations for Franklin & Marshall College. He was responsible for the College’s operations including master planning, capital projects, facilities and operations, real estate management, auxiliary services and the Department of Public Safety. He performed development activities involving complex real estate projects requiring property assemblage and public funding. He managed the 75-acre, $75 million Northwest Gateway Project involving the acquisition, remediation and development of the Armstrong and Norfolk Southern properties in northwest Lancaster. Keith also developed strategic relationships for the College and managed government relations at the local, state and federal levels.
Previously, Keith held management positions in Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh’s administration, and was a corporate officer for Health Images Inc., a publicly traded company that specialized in developing and operating outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. He also held senior positions in marketing and management with central Pennsylvania construction and material manufacturing firms.
Keith is a member of the boards of the University City Science Center and the Schuylkill River Development Corporation and active in the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania. He is past president of the James Street Improvement District Board and the Lancaster County Pennsylvania Dutch Country & Visitors Bureau, and a past board member of EDC Finance Corporation, the Economic Development Committee of Lancaster County and Albright Care Services.
Debbie Buchwald, Executive Director for Corporate Relations, is responsible for broadening and deepening Drexel’s relationships with its current corporate partners and establishing new strategic partnerships that will add value to programs across the University, including the new Innovation Neighborhood and Drexel Ventures.
Debbie comes to Drexel from the Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce where she served as executive director for 9 years, crafting bi-national strategic corporate partnerships across multiple industry sectors to promote trade and investment in the Greater Philadelphia Region. She began her professional career as a practicing attorney and subsequently, focused her professional efforts on non-profit program development and fundraising. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Maryland School of Law.