Ambassador Joseph M. Torsella (Ret.) has been named Drexel University Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Public Policy for the duration of this academic year. He will contribute to the teaching and scholarship undertaken by Drexel’s Center for Public Policy, and in particular help advance the Center’s efforts to facilitate public policy discussion and debate in the region.
“Drexel’s scholarly activities become stronger with each uniquely experienced perspective we include in our University community,” said Drexel President John A. Fry. “I am looking forward to Ambassador Torsella’s contributions, and honored that he has agreed to join us for the year.”
From 2011 through 2013, Torsella served as U.S. representative to the United Nations for U.N. management and reform. President Obama appointed him to the ambassador-level position to advocate for fiscal and administrative responsibility in U.N. operations, which receive more than one-fifth of their funding from the United States.
Torsella has extensive experience in public service in Greater Philadelphia. He was founding president and CEO of the National Constitution Center, responsible for development and completion of the $185 million project as well as setting its initial international agenda. He went on to chair the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, which set new accountability standards for high school graduation requirements under his leadership. And in 1992-93, he served as deputy mayor of the City of Philadelphia, leading management reforms that helped close the city’s budget deficit. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a former Rhodes Scholar.
As visiting fellow, Torsella will conduct research and write about public policy issues, as well as serve as a guest lecturer and interact with students and faculty throughout the University. He will deliver two “University Lectures” on topics of domestic and international policy, and also moderate a series of public events at the National Constitution Center on Drexel’s behalf.