Thomas Corcoran has an undergraduate degree in political science from Loyola University in Chicago. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Chad, a Peace Corps Fellow in DC, and then Peace Corps Director in Republic of Benin.
Returning to the US, he received a MPA from the Wharton School. He then worked for eight years for the City government in Camden, NJ, finishing as the City’s Business Administrator, the highest appointed official in City government.
In 1984 he helped found and then became CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Development Association, a non-profit downtown waterfront development corporation.
For twenty-five years, Tom led the transformation of this area on the New Jersey side of Delaware River from a mostly vacant, post-industrial waterfront into a center of entertainment, office, and residential development, attracting over $550 million of private and public investment.
In October 2009, Tom became the first president of the newly created Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC), which is responsible for planning and coordinating the redevelopment of a seven mile stretch of Philadelphia’s waterfront along the Delaware River, directly across from the river from his former place of work in New Jersey. During his tenure, DRWC completed an award-winning master plan and built a variety of public improvements such as the Race Street Pier, Washington Avenue Pier and the Penn Street Trail, all of which were designed to create new public access to the river and to attract new investment on privately-owned waterfront parcels. Under his leadership, DRWC has also engaged in award-winning placemaking initiatives such as Spruce St. Harbor Park, Summerfest and the Blue Cross Waterfront Winterfest, attracting more than a million new visitors to the central Delaware River.
During his tenure, DRWC designed and planned a transformative yet cost-effective plan to reconnect Penn’s Ling back to Old City and the historic district. Before his retirement on June 30th, Tom was able to announce that, thanks to the leadership of the Governor Wolf, Philadelphia Mayor Kenney, and the William Penn Foundation, the financing for this $225 million project had been secured. The project is now under final design and is due to be completed in 2023.