BJ Thornberry serves as executive director of Heartland PAC, an organization founded by Governor Tom Vilsack and dedicated to closing the message and ideas gap to help elect democratic candidates to statewide office. Prior to her current assignment, she was executive director of the Democratic Governors’ Association where she helped to elect or re-elect 21 out of 22 incumbent governors. During her tenure she transformed the organization into a full service political action committee while increasing fundraising by 500 percent.
A former local elected-official herself, Thornberry has significant experience in public service, public policy and politics. A native of Illinois who lived in Colorado until she joined the Clinton Administration in 1993, she served two terms as the Moffat County, CO Democratic Party chair and was elected to the Craig City Council. She later became deputy state treasurer and deputy chief of staff to Colorado Governor Roy Romer.
She served as deputy assistant secretary for Land and Minerals Management and later deputy chief of staff at the Department of the Interior. In 1996 she served as executive director of the Democratic National Committee. At the Department of Housing and Urban Development she served as senior advisor to the deputy secretary.
She is the mother of three sons and a grandmother of three.