Jezree Friend is an adjunct professor with Gannon University.
In his full time job he works as the Manufacturer & Business Association's (MBA) assistant vice president of external relations, responsible for building strong relationships with Pennsylvania’s state and federal elected officials, the media, and the public. He manages the MBA’s government affairs department, political action committee, and lobbies on behalf of a pro-business agenda.
Recently, he was named to City & State’s prestigious “Pennsylvania’s Forty Under 40," an honor given to the most prominent leaders in Pennsylvania government, advocacy, labor, business, academia, and media.
He has moderated televised forums for Pennsylvania’s candidates for Governor and U.S. Senate. He has led round-table discussions with several Presidential cabinet members, served as a panelist on congressional debates, testified in front of the Pennsylvania general assembly, and regularly has opinion pieces published in newspapers across Pennsylvania.
His political commentary has been included in national and international media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, British Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and others.
As a recent veteran of the U.S. Army, he was the campaign manager for the 2017 Erie mayoral race for a 50-point underdog (who became a dear friend). Despite the 3:1 voter disadvantage, the campaign captured 47% of the vote and received national coverage in the New York Post and the Fox Business television station.
Mr. Friend earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Edinboro University and a master’s degree in public administration from Gannon University. Additionally, he serves as a school board member at Erie Frist Christian Academy and with his wife in a leadership role at NB Church in Fairview, Pa.
Mr. Friend and his wife live in Millcreek, Pa, with their three children, and dogs Betty White and Alexander Hamilton.