Paul A. Tiburzi grew up in Baltimore’s Highlandtown, the son of a city police sergeant and a seamstress.
From that blue-collar beginning, Tiburzi became a leading lawyer for one of the nation’s most powerful law firms. And on Friday, the DLA Piper attorney was elected chairman of the city’s leading business organization.
The board of the Greater Baltimore Committee voted Friday to elect Tiburzi to succeed Stephanie C. Hill, a senior vice president for Lockheed Martin who had served as chairwoman for the regional business advocacy group since 2015.
Tiburzi said he plans to work through the business group, along with Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and Gov. Larry Hogan, to improve safety in Baltimore.
“Baltimore should be, and can be, the greatest, safest city in the country,” Tiburzi said in a statement Friday. “We plan to be active, vocal and aggressive to make that happen.”
Working with city and state officials, he said, “the GBC will be a force for change and renewal for our city and region.”
Tiburzi will serve the rest of Hill’s term, which was to expire in May. She stepped down because of increased job responsibilities at the Bethesda-based defense contractor after being promoted in September.
Tiburzi, a senior partner at DLA Piper, heads the firm’s state public policy and administrative law practice. He previously served as managing partner of the firm’s Baltimore office. His practice focuses on public law, sports law and administrative litigation matters. Clients have included professional sports teams and Fortune 500 companies.
As a GBC board member, Tiburzi said he has been able to offer the perspective of business clients and their concerns to the group.
“Paul is a lawyer’s lawyer and a strong advocate for Baltimore,” said Brett Ingerman, DLA Piper’s Baltimore office managing partner, in Friday’s announcement.
Donald C. Fry, GBC president and CEO, said he is looking to Tiburzi to bring new ideas and energy to the business advocacy group.
“He will ensure the GBC remains … an ally that fosters positive lasting change for not just business and government, but communities throughout the region, too," Fry said.
Tiburzi grew up on Clinton Street in Highlandtown. His father, Salvatore Tiburzi, was a police sergeant in the eastern district and his mother, Angela Tiburzi, was a seamstress at Haas Tailoring.
Tiburzi went on to graduate from Loyola Blakefield, Loyola University and the University of Maryland School of Law. He joined the law firm, then called Piper & Marbury, in 1981 after clerking for Harrison L. Winter, chief judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He has spent his entire career at the firm.
Because his father worked on the police force, “I’ve grown up with the issues of public safety, and it’s very important to me and clearly very important to the city,” Tiburzi said. “I’m heartened by the mayor’s work and the governor’s work. It’s clearly become the most important issue to the mayor and to the governor.”
He said the board will seek both short- and long-term solutions to public safety issues. He hopes to focus as well on improving education and transportation in the region and supporting projects that will help transform the city.