Eric has been involved with public policymaking at the highest levels for nearly forty years, when he worked in the White House during college writing speeches for President Jimmy Carter. He has served in all three branches of the federal government and for numerous state governments, as a speechwriter, prosecutor, policy advisor, general counsel, and chief-of-staff – and has worked in the private sector as a journalist, professor, business executive, and social entrepreneur. Today, he is president and CEO of a policy consulting firm advising Members of Congress, governors, mayors and other officials across the country; a regular contributor on the future of government and public policy for several major national and international publications; an adjunct professor of policy at various universities; president of the think tank originally founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and a sought-after speaker internationally.
Mr. Schnurer is founder and president of Public Works LLC, one of the leading firms specializing in improving government management, policy, and efficiency, including strategic planning with public agencies and the executive branch at the highest levels. Public Works has worked with both state agencies and governors’ offices around the country successfully to develop and implement innovative solutions to challenging problems. The firm uniquely functions as an on-going policy office and strategic planners for governors, agency heads, and other chief executives and has served as a policy office for several governors on an on-going, consulting basis. The firm advises government agencies across the country on public policy in fields ranging across every function of government, from economic development to criminal justice, from health and human services to education, and all that falls in between. Public Works has produced billions of dollars in taxpayer savings through improved government efficiency.
Before founding Public Works, Mr. Schnurer was chief-of-staff to the Acting Governor of Pennsylvania, helping to oversee the operations of one of the largest state governments. He has served as an appointee of governors of both political parties on the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Delaware River Port Authority, which manages a large multi-state economic development budget; on the latter, the Philadelphia Inquirer hailed his successful efforts to reduce waste and institute more rigorous budgeting and spending procedures.
Since working as a speechwriter during the summers for President Jimmy Carter, he has served as a speechwriter, deputy press secretary, legal counsel, or policy advisor for more than a dozen governors, U.S. Senators, and presidential candidates. He has written on policy issues for such publications as the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, American Prospect, and Washington Monthly, as well as for the Center for National Policy, the Progressive Policy Institute, and the Aspen Institute. He has taught at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels School of Government, Temple Law School, and the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University and is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies and at Union Theological Seminary, as well as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow; a regular contributor to Aspenia (the policy journal of the European branch of the Aspen Institute), US News & World Report, The Hill, and The Atlantic; and president of the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, founded by Dr. Martin Luther King to help end poverty. In the past 6 months alone, he has been a speaker at the African Political Summit in Cape Town; the International Association of Political Consultants world conference in Mexico City; and a forum sponsored by The Hill on Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis.
Schnurer also served as associate special prosecutor on the federal investigation of corruption in the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. As a crusading civil rights attorney, he won a landmark court decision declaring the enactment of the entire Pennsylvania state budget unconstitutional, permanently ending the state’s legislative earmark process. He has represented plaintiffs in a string of similar cases to force openness and constitutional compliance in the legislative enactment process. He also helped the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to develop cutting-edge constitutional theories on addressing poverty 25 years ago, represented migrant Haitian farm-workers in rural Pennsylvania, and served on the boards of the Homeless Advocacy Project and Habitat for Humanity in Philadelphia. He has written on constitutional issues for the Columbia Law Review, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, and the State Constitutional Law Journal of the National Association of Attorneys General.
Mr. Schnurer received his bachelor’s degree with honors in political science from Brown University, and holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he founded and edited the school’s student policy journal, as well as a juris doctor from Columbia Law School, where he was a member of the law review and a James Kent Scholar, the school’s highest annual honor. He currently lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Dr. Linda M. Rhodes.