In June 2012, Dave Myers was appointed the founding director of the O’Pake Institute. Myers has held numerous positions in higher education and state government, having served as the Chief of Staff for the President of Bucknell University and as a major adviser to two Pennsylvania Governors. A graduate of Cornell University, with graduate work in American history at the University of Massachusetts and Rutgers University, he brings a strong academic orientation to the position of director. He has also served on numerous boards and commissions, including a local school board, a county planning commission, a community hospital board and the boards of several state agencies: the state system of Higher Education Board of Governors, the State Employees Benefit Trust Fund, the State Employees Retirement System and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.
At Bucknell, Myers managed the President’s Office, the Board of Trustees and the President’s Cabinet. He was actively involved in community economic development, including relocating the university bookstore into downtown Lewisburg, converting a virtually abandoned federal Post Office in an university office complex, rehabilitating a decaying movie theater into a community performing arts center, developing a small business incubator and a satellite art gallery, as well as helping to develop a rail trail through the community. He also helped launch the Bucknell Public Policy Institute and the Bucknell Innovation Group, the latter a project to support student and faculty entrepreneurs and foster interdisciplinary courses and programs centered on creativity and innovation.
During his career in state government, Myers was instrumental in developing a number of landmark environmental, health care, economic development and education programs. He helped develop the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which became a model for the national program; and worked to expand the scope of the state’s prescription drug program for seniors. He worked on the state recycling law, the state superfund act, PennVEST (the state environmental infrastructure bank) and state programs to foster the development of alternative energy and energy conservation measures. Myers helped develop the Keystone Innovation Zone program and was heavily involved in creating the Commonwealth Financing Agency.
The O’Pake Institute, Myers feels, presents an opportunity to employ that background and experience to help Alvernia fulfill its mission to its students and to the community.
Eric Jenkins, Chair