As a part of the Fels Institute "Practically Speaking" program series, The National Constitution Center hosts a panel discussion with current and former Chiefs of Staff about their role in politics and governance.
Panelists include Matthew Gallagher, Chief of Staff under Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Anita McBride, current Executive in Residence with Department of Government at American University and former Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush, and David Urban, current President American Continental Group and former chief of staff of Pennsylvanian Senator Arlen Specter. Scott Detrow, reporter for NPR's StateImpact in Pennsylvania, will serve as moderator.
The National Constitution Center and the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government are partnering on a series of public conversations. The "Practically Speaking" program series honors Fels' 75th anniversary and is generously supported by David Seltzer and Poor Richard's Charitable Trust.
Chief of Staff
Office of Governor Martin O'Malley
Executive in Residence
Department of Government, American University
American Continental Group
Moderator: Scott Detrow
Scott Detrow is StateImpact’s Harrisburg reporter. He was Pennsylvania Public Radio’s State Capitol Bureau Chief from 2009 to 2011, covering the 2010 gubernatorial campaign and 2009 budget impasse, among other stories. Scott has also worked as a reporter and anchor at WITF-FM and WFUV-FM, and won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for covering a Pennsylvania National Guard brigade’s deployment to Iraq. He grew up in New Jersey and Wisconsin, majored in political science and English at Fordham University, and is (slowly) working toward a master's degree from Penn's Fels Institute of Government.
Chief of Staff, State of Maryland Office of the Governor. Former Deputy Chief of Staff, State of Maryland Office of the Governor. Former positions with the City of Baltimore: Member, Mayor’s Cabinet; Director, CitStat Program, Office of the Mayor; O’Malley/Brown Transition Team. Former Assistant Deputy Mayor, City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Office; Staff Director, City of Philadelphia Productivity Bank; Graduate Intern/Special Assistant, Philadelphia Commerce Department; Assistant for Youth Programs, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Mrs. McBride has a long and distinguished career in American politics and government. Most recently, she served as Assistant to President George W. Bush and Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush from January 2005 to January 2009. As a CCPS Fellow, Mrs. McBride will work with both CCPS and the Women & Politics Institute, giving guest lectures, teaching one-credit weekend classes, and organizing a conference on the role of First Ladies in American politics.
David Urban joined the American Continental Group in 2002. Mr. Urban has been referred to by the New York Times as a “prominent … Republican lobbyist,” a “Mover and Shaker” by Campaigns and Elections Magazine, a “Top Influencer” by Politics Magazine and and a “high-level Washington Republican lobbyist” and “influential Washington rainmaker” by the Harrisburg Patriot News. Roll Call identified “Urban [as] a member of Washington’s community of influential Republican moderates and pragmatists.” In a profile of Mr. Urban, Philadelphia Magazine said that “when [Urban] talks, Members of Congress listen.”
Immediately before joining American Continental Group, Mr. Urban served for five years as the Chief of Staff for United States Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA). Acting as the Senator’s senior advisor on legislative, political, media, and administrative matters in Pennsylvania and Washington, Mr. Urban was Senator Specter’s direct representative to the Senator’s Pennsylvania constituents as well as other Members of Congress, senior executive branch officials, ambassadors and other officials of foreign governments. Mr. Urban represented Senator Specter as a part of the Senate Republican leadership and oversaw the Senator’s interests before the Judiciary, Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Environment and Public Works Committees.
From 1994 through 1997, Mr. Urban was an attorney in private practice focusing on litigation and transactional matters. Mr. Urban’s experiences in the law range from complex director and officer corporate liability matters to multi-million dollar revenue bond financings for industrial developments. An active member of the Pennsylvania Bar, Mr. Urban is admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
From 1986 through 1991, Mr. Urban served as an artillery officer in the United States Army’s 101st Airborne Division headquartered at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Illustrative of his distinguished record of consistently high performance during his time in uniform, Mr. Urban was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement while engaged in combat operations against Iraq during Operation Desert Storm.
Mr. Urban earned a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a Master of Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania and a Juris Doctor from the Temple University School of Law. Mr. Urban has lectured at various universities, most recently serving as an adjunct professor at the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University.