From the steel industry of Western Pennsylvania through the hallowed halls of the White House to Mellon Arena and the Pittsburgh Penguins, CCAC alumnus David Morehouse has taken a road less traveled to earn success.
Morehouse grew up in Beechview and graduated in 1978 from South Catholic High School. The self proclaimed “class clown” of his graduating class, Morehouse decided to join many of his classmates and enter the workforce after graduation. He worked as a boilermaker in the steel industry until a career ending injury forced him to leave the factory for good.
At the age of 24, when most college students are beginning their career, Morehouse enrolled in classes at CCAC’s Allegheny Campus. It was at CCAC where he realized his hunger for knowledge.
“At CCAC, I discovered that I had the ability to excel in higher education,” Morehouse said. “As a student, it was a complete revelation to me that there was a whole world out there to be discovered."
Three short years later, he earned his associate’s degree in general studies. Morehouse then headed to Duquesne University. Realizing that financing his education was difficult, he decided to take a job with Jay Costa Jr., a fellow CCAC alumnus with whom he shared a common interest in politics. At the time, Costa was serving as Allegheny County Register of Wills. Today, he serves as a Pennsylvania State Senator.
Having a strong desire to further pursue a career in politics, Morehouse soon found himself working on the 1992 presidential campaign trail for Bill Clinton. Much to the chagrin of his family, he took a paid job doing advance work for Clinton's campaign. Soon enough, Morehouse entered the White House and served as Director of Strategy for White House Drug Policy. When his post was completed, he served the next two years as Deputy Director of the international non-profit drug education group Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.).
After his turn as Deputy Director, Morehouse decided it was time to pursue a master’s degree. His professional career served as a perfect resume to gain acceptance into the prestigious Kennedy School at Harvard University. He eventually earned a Master’s in Public Administration at the esteemed institution.
In 2000, Morehouse refused to stay away from Washington any longer and worked as a senior counselor for Al Gore during his 2000 presidential election run. After the election, he made his way back to Harvard where he served as the Deputy Director of Executive Education, as well as Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard University Institute of Politics.
Nevertheless, the political bug began to scratch Morehouse for the third time. He joined the Democratic presidential campaign trail again. Morehouse served as Senator John Kerry’s communications director for the primary election and eventually was promoted to traveling chief of staff for the presidential election against incumbent President George W. Bush. Unfortunately, Kerry lost the election and Morehouse decided it was time to return to his hometown of Pittsburgh.
Morehouse did not waste any time upon his arrival to the Steel City. As a longtime Pittsburgh Penguins fan, he sought employment with the team. In December, 2004, Morehouse was named senior consultant for special projects for the Penguins and worked on the new arena project.
On April 4, 2007, Morehouse was named president of the Pittsburgh Penguins, with oversight of the redevelopment of the Mellon Arena site, government affairs, corporate relations, ticket sales, marketing, corporate sales and communications.
Morehouse tells us that he could not be any happier being back in his hometown. He currently resides in Squirrel Hill with his wife Vanessa, son Jackson, 3, and daughter Mackenzie, 1. Admittedly, his life has taken some strange turns, but he would not change one thing.