Media Center

Hail to a Chief

July 17, 2015


The path Kathleen Duffy Bruder ’93 took to the Pennsylvania governor’s office started in a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx.

In January, Bruder finished a four-year term as deputy chief of staff for former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, working primarily as the governor’s liaison with agencies including the Department of Transportation, Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Department of Labor and Industry.

During her tenure, she was instrumental in the passing of Act 89, Pennsylvania’s most comprehensive transportation bill that will invest more than $2.3 billion in infrastructure during the plan’s first five years.

“It was an amazing opportunity to work as part of a team, toward bipartisanship, to get things accomplished and to help contribute to making good things happen for the state of Pennsylvania,” Bruder said. “To see and be part of something starting from just a concept, and then to see it come to fruition, was an amazing and rewarding opportunity.”

Before joining the Corbett team, Bruder worked in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as in-house counsel practicing employment law for an insurance company, and as a partner in private practice litigating and specializing

in employment and labor relations. Corbett’s campaign contacted her in 2010 to help with research, and her part-time role morphed into a full-time position after he took office.

It was a long journey from her first job as a legal secretary in the New York City metro area, a position she obtained through a temp agency in the midst of a recession, but she credits the lessons she learned at UD and from her parents for her career’s upward trajectory.

“My overall experience at UD, both in the classroom and out in the community, clerking and working in mediation in the city of Dayton court system, was really beneficial and influential in my career,” Bruder said. “I also give so much credit to my parents for the way they raised me by showing me the value of hard work and giving me the confidence to follow my dreams and seize opportunities. From a one-bedroom apartment in the Bronx, all the way to sitting next to and advising the governor of Pennsylvania, the values they instilled within me guided me every step of the way.”

Bruder is now an attorney with McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC, as part of the firm’s government relations and labor and employment practices division. Based in Harrisburg, the firm has offices throughout Pennsylvania, an office in Washington, D.C., and one in Columbus, Ohio.

—Tom Corcoran ’13