Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies congratulates Adam K. Thiel, who was recently named Managing Director for the City of Philadelphia by Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker. Thiel previously served as the Fire Commissioner for the Philadelphia Fire Department and Director of the Office of Emergency Management for the City of Philadelphia. “Adam has deep expertise in crisis leadership, risk management, organizational development, data science, and strategy,” says Parker, a graduate of Fels Institute of Government. “We seem to be accumulating quite a few national experts to the Parker administration who also have great experience and roots in our city.”
“When the mayor-elect calls, you stop what you’re doing, and you listen,” said Thiel. “I was energized by her leadership, her vision, and I am so honored to be able to take on this new challenge.” The managing director oversees city agencies, hiring top departmental officials and working hand in hand with the mayor. The appointee is essentially the city’s chief operating officer.
Thiel joined the Penn LPS community when he enrolled in the Master of Philosophy in Organizational Dynamics degree, where he has taken courses in group and team dynamics as well as systems and design thinking. “Organizational dynamics is essentially what my job is, in a fairly large mission critical organization,” he explained. “This is real-world stuff with real-world consequences.” Thiel is a lifelong learner who has also studied public administration and urbanology from top-tier institutions—knowledge that he has certainly had the opportunity to put into practice in his service to the city. While Thiel is not a native Philadelphian, he has come to love the city and is passionate about opportunities to improve safety and create positive change. “Coming to Philadelphia seven years ago, one of the best pieces of advice I got was to love the city and it will love you back,” he recalls.