Based in PennFuture’s Harrisburg office, Ezra Thrush leads and develops the organization's policy initiatives and is its liaison with elected officials in both Harrisburg and Washington D.C. In this role, Ezra manages all legislative and executive branch relationships as well as public policy decisions and processes for PennFuture.
As a member of the senior leadership team, Thrush serves as PennFuture’s chief lobbyist and external voice on policy positions, strategy, and relationships with decision makers at the local, state, and federal levels of government. Ezra also represents PennFuture on the Steering Committee of the Choose Clean Water Coalition.
Prior to serving as Director of Policy, Ezra worked as PennFuture’s Campaign Manager for Watershed Advocacy and state lead for the Choose Clean Water Coalition, where he led high-impact outreach and communications campaigns around clean water issues affecting Pennsylvania’s environment and communities in the Susquehanna and Potomac River basins., Thrush focused on the Commonwealth’s waters, providing oversight and support of Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay plan and the state’s Watershed Implementation Plan. Ezra has worked extensively on state and federal issues, including stormwater management, clean water funding, agriculture, forest retention, the Farm Bill, climate change, and water infrastructure, among others.
Prior to joining PennFuture, Thrush served as the Advocacy and Coalition Coordinator at South Central Community Action Programs, working on criminal justice reform and human services policy issues. He also has served in previous roles in legislative and policy work on state environmental funding, public lands, and the Clean Power Plan, donor development, research and teaching, and program management at the New Birth of Freedom Council of Boy Scouts of America, Shippensburg University, and Sierra Club – Pennsylvania Chapter.
Ezra holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration with concentrations in public policy and nonprofit management in addition to Bachelor’s degrees in History and Political Science from Shippensburg University. He continues to write and speak in academic circles and his interests include stakeholder collaboration and public-private partnerships, collective governance, public participation, and solutions-oriented environmental policy.
Thrush enjoys volunteering as an instructor with the National Outdoor Leadership School, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the National Camping School, and local Boy Scouts camps. He is a proud member of the American Society for Public Administration and Pi Alpha Alpha, the global honor society for public affairs and administration. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association.
Ezra takes extra joy in hiking and traveling with friends in the outdoors, visiting family throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Broadway, Baltimore Orioles baseball, and spending quality time with his nephews.