Thomas A. Dunne has been appointed Fordham University’s new vice president for government relations and urban affairs, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, announced on Tuesday, Sept. 2.
Dunne, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., comes to Fordham from Verizon-New York, where he was the vice president of public policy and external affairs. He has over 20 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors on legislative and policy issues. At Verizon, he was responsible for the corporation’s interaction with various government agencies and officials. He begins his tenure at Fordham immediately.
Dunne’s experience includes overseeing a multi-billion dollar franchise agreement between Verizon and New York City that will bring the company’s fiber-optic cable network to all five boroughs. The process involved negotiating with, and gaining multiple approvals from, numerous city and state agencies and officials.
“In light of his wide experience and the remarkable network of contacts that he has established with political leaders in New York City and New York State, I am confident that Tom will prove to be an extraordinarily effective advocate for the University,” Father McShane said.
He noted that Dunne’s background will be especially helpful “as we continue our way through the complicated processes associated with securing approval for the master plan that we have developed for our Lincoln Center campus, and as we continue our effort to build bridges to the communities that we are honored to serve.”
Fordham plans to significantly renovate and expand its Manhattan campus. When complete, the project will add about 2.36 million feet of additional floor area, including roughly 1.08 million square feet of academic space, another 539,000 square feet of new dormitory space and about 742,500 square feet of new non-Fordham residential space.
“It’s a very exciting project,” Dunne said. “It gives Fordham the opportunity to rebuild its law school, which is one of the better law schools in the country right now, and which can be one of the best. I’m excited to work with Father McShane, the Board of Trustees and city officials to make this project a reality.”
Dunne has been active in civic affairs throughout his entire career, including service to the Citizens’ Crime Commission; New York City Police Foundation; New York City Parks Foundation; Mayor’s Mid-Town Task Force; Association of the Bar of the City of New York; Government Affairs Committee of the New York State Business Council; and the Harlem School of Music – Opus 118.
Dunne received his bachelor’s degree from Saint Francis College in Brooklyn and his Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School. He began his career as head of the Middle School at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn Heights, a progressive school for intellectually gifted students.
Following his stint as an educational administrator and teacher, Dunne moved into the area of public service. He served successively as an administrative law judge for the New York State Department of Social Services, and several posts at the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, including vice chair.