Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr., Vice Chair
In 2017, Ken Lawrence Jr. was appointed by the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas to the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners to fill out the term of newly-elected Attorney General Josh Shapiro. On February 2, 2017, he was unanimously elected as Vice Chair of the Board of the Commissioners. Commissioner Lawrence was elected on November 5, 2019 to serve a full four-year term. He is the first African-American Commissioner in Montgomery County’s history.
Commissioner Lawrence was elected to serve as a Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Elections on March 16, 2017 and has served in that role his entire tenure. The Board of Elections oversees the administration of the election process in the County, including the polling locations, ballots, voting machines, and campaign expense report filings. As Chair of the Election Board, Commissioner Lawrence led the County’s purchase of a new voting system in 2019 and the implementation of mail-in ballots in 2020. Commissioner Lawrence has also initiated new efforts to recruit poll workers by speaking with civic groups, colleges and high schools across the County. He was appointed by Governor Wolf and confirmed by the Senate to the Pennsylvania Election Law Advisory Board in 2020 and was elected Chair.
Transportation and infrastructure have been key focuses of Commissioner Lawrence. He has served as a Montgomery County appointee to the board of SEPTA since 2011 and currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the board. He also serves on the board of the Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association, chairs the 422 Transit Task Force and serves on the Tri-County Passenger Rail Committee.
Commissioner Lawrence has taken a hands-on approach to learning and experiencing all facets of Montgomery County’s government and programs. Lawrence is an avid user and promoter of the County’s parks and trails and has completed the Montgomery County Trail Challenge every year since 2017. He joined the Share Montco Hunger Solutions Advisory Group after participating in the Your Way Home Food Stamp Challenge for a week, eating food that could only be purchased with a budget of $4.75 per day of SNAP benefits. Lawrence also completed the QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Program offered to County residents by the Montgomery County Suicide Prevention Taskforce.
A resident of Montgomery County for nearly 35 years, Lawrence brings a diverse set of skills and experience to the Board. Lawrence has served as Temple University’s Vice President for Alumni Relations overseeing the activities of the Office of Alumni Relations and the Temple University Alumni Association. He was the first Vice President appointed to this position in Temple history. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs at Temple where he oversaw the offices of Government Relations and Community Relations directing all of Temple’s outreach and advocacy activities at the state, local and federal levels of government and community engagement.
Prior to joining Temple, Lawrence built his own successful public affairs firm in Montgomery County – Public Affairs Strategies – where he represented corporate and non-profit clients. Lawrence also previously worked at Merck & Company, Inc., handling public relations, product support, community relations, corporate contributions, crisis communications, issues management, government relations and media relations and at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce as a Public Policy Representative performing policy development and analysis, grassroots outreach and lobbying on regional business issues.
Lawrence’s prior board service includes the Avenue of the Arts, Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters of Montgomery County, Committee of Seventy, Easter Seals of Southeastern PA, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the James A. Finnegan Foundation, North Penn Chamber of Commerce, the North Penn Valley Boys and Girls Club of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the marketing committee for the Montgomery County Industrial Development Corporation. Lawrence has been a volunteer youth sports coach for several years in the Plymouth JR ABA and the Colonial Soccer League.
Lawrence has been the recipient of several awards including; 2020 2019 Cheltenham Area NAACP President’s Award, 2019 Cluster Community Award from the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities, the 2018 Raymond H. Miley, Jr. Distinguished Service Award from the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Montgomery County, the 2018 Driving Fatherhood Award from the Maternity Care Coalition, the 2016 Philadelphia Tribune: Most Influential African Americans, the 2005 Philadelphia Business Journal: 40 Under Forty Award, and the 1999 Big Brother of the Year (North Central Philadelphia).
Lawrence began his college career attending Montgomery County Community College and received Associate in Science in Liberal Studies. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Center of Government.
Lawrence lives with his wife, two sons and two dogs in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.