Alex Torpey, MPA
Department of Political Science and Public Affairs
The former mayor of South Orange, New Jersey, Alex Torpey was elected to office in 2011 at the age of 23, and has since become a voice and determined advocate for millennial leadership, government innovation, civic technology and good governance. In four years, in his hometown (and Seton Hall University's South Orange campus) of approximately 20,000 people, South Orange saw the four lowest tax increases in over a decade, they implemented a major debt restructuring and reduction plan, sparked over $100m in investment in its downtown and business community, reduced crime by over 40%, won state-wide recognition for transparency, invested in aging municipal infrastructure, technology and more, and built better relationships with the University community while creating one of the most collaborative and engaging local government civic spaces in the region.
Professionally, Alex founded and was a managing partner at Veracity Media (2009-2015), a digital strategy consulting firm that has worked with political campaigns and nonprofits across the country on leveraging digital tools for greater impact. In 2012 he founded Rethink Leadership, a nonpartisan initiative to help inspire and encourage more young people to run for office.
Alex got his MPA from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is currently a visiting professor for governance and technology in Seton Hall's Department of Public Policy and Political Science. He also serves on the Advisory Board of New Jersey's New Leaders Council and the Millennial Action Project. Alex has been a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician with the South Orange Rescue Squad since 2010, and also served as South Orange's Emergency Manager Director.
After his term finished in 2015, Alex spent two months living and working with community development organizations in Rwanda and Uganda to study governance methodologies, as well as to camp in Botswana's Okavango Delta. Alex loves being outside, riding motorcycles, taking pictures of things, and is rarely not listening to music. His passion for science fiction may rival that of the biggest Battlestar Galactica fans.
Alex teaches an experimental and hands-on graduate-level course on good governance, political ethics and civic technology with Dr. Matthew Hale in addition to participating in other related programming and activities at Seton Hall.
- MPA, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- B.A., Hampshire College