Brad Rourke is the Kettering Foundation’s chief external affairs officer and director of D.C. operations. He leads the foundation’s Washington, DC, office and also heads efforts to increase the foundation’s impact and reputation across key audiences, developing strategic partnerships and conferences, and promoting awareness and understanding of the foundation’s mission.
For more than a decade at the foundation, Rourke served as executive editor of issue guides, creating more than 40 such publications enabling groups of people to come together to discuss fraught public issues across lines of difference and in the face of deep disagreements about what should be done.
He has written and cowritten a number of Kettering reports and articles, including Developing Materials for Deliberative Forums. His essays and op-ed pieces have appeared in publications such as the Washington Post and The Christian Science Monitor. He contributed a chapter on the ethics of citizenship to the book Shades of Gray (Brookings Institution, 2002).
Rourke has been a Kettering program officer since 2013 and was a foundation associate from 2005 to 2013. Prior to joining the foundation, he was president of a public issues firm serving the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, founder and publisher of the local online news source Rockville Central, director of external initiatives at The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, and vice president for public policy at the Institute for Global Ethics. He served on the staffs of California’s Controller Gray Davis and US Representative Jane Harman of California during their terms in office.
Rourke serves on the boards of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation. He holds a BA in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MPA from American University in Washington, DC.