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A member of the Thunderbird School of Global Management Executive Team since 2015, Jay Thorne came to the School after more than a decade of working as consultant for the president’s office at Arizona State University in a public affairs capacity.
In a career that has spanned more than 30 years, Jay’s background is in creating strategy and persuasive communications for public affairs, public policy and marketing clients in business, politics and non-profit organizations. He has worked as a member of the media, served as a marketing and communications director, a lobbyist, a liaison and a senior political and public policy strategist. He has managed political campaigns, corporate public relations, advertising and marketing, and real estate development projects.
A Valley resident since 1974 and a graduate of Arizona State University, Thorne’s professional experience is a unique mix of strategic communications skills, politics and public policy, media and marketing, and real estate.
Over the past three decades, Jay has been involved in some of the biggest issues in Arizona – corporate bankruptcies, multi-million dollar land exchanges, major development cases, hotly contested political campaigns, corporate communications crises, public policy advocacy, and media. He helped the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Diamondbacks build downtown stadiums, and helped Arizona State University gain voter approval to launch a new campus. He helped the state’s workers’ compensation fund privatize and he helped the largest privately held development project come to life in downtown Phoenix in the midst of a national economic downturn. In 2006, Jay earned his real estate license and is a partner in various private development projects in Phoenix.
As Thunderbird’s Executive Director for External Relations and Partnerships, Jay oversees the School’s relationships, policy agendas and communications with organizations and individuals across the university, in the community, in government, and among potential and existing partners, including several of the school's executive education initiatives. Jay represents Thunderbird in many areas and is the lead participant for the school in the university's plans to develop a new building for Thunderbird on the downtown campus. Jay serves as a key strategic communications specialist and also works closely with Thunderbird's Engagement office and Alumni Relations office as well as the university's government relations office.
Jay has three grown children and he and his wife, Anne, are now patiently waiting for the gift of grandparenting. He is an avid soccer and baseball fan who, while exhibiting unimpressive physical skills, would still rather be playing ball than sitting on the couch.