Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Tom Wolf has tapped Drexel University President John Fry to chair his transition team.
Fry’s track record of transforming institutions and creating global economic partnerships was a big draw, said Wolf spokesman Jeffrey Sheridan.
One example? At Drexel, “he signed agreements in for academic and research partnerships that enhanced Drexel’s global connections in places like Turkey, Israel and Brazil,” said Sheridan.
As chairman, Fry will provide “big picture” guidance for the incoming administration.
“He’ll be overseeing the process that we’re putting into place … understanding the issues that Gov. Wolf and his administration will be facing and the issues the commonwealth will be facing,” said Sheridan.
One of the major issues “is putting the state’s economic house in order,” said Sheridan, noting the $1.85 billion revenue shortfall reported by the Independent Fiscal Office Thursday.
The makeup of the team also sends a message about diversity and representation in the Wolf administration.
“I am looking forward to working with a diverse group of leaders to move Pennsylvania forward,” wrote Wolf in an official statement about the transition team on his blog. The seven team members include Kim Bracey, the first black mayor of York, and Cynthia Shapira, a community activist in Pittsburgh. Wolf also appointed Katie McGinty, former state environmental protection secretary, as his chief of staff.
In 2010, Gov. Tom Corbett drew criticism for the energy industry-laden affiliations of his transition team, who included Christine Toretti, then chairwoman and CEO of S.W. Jack Drilling Co., as well as lobbyists, lawyers and financial institutions with ties to oil and shale gas extraction.