Alex Torpey is the 48th Village President of South Orange. Alex was sworn in as the youngest mayor in New Jersey, is the youngest in South Orange's history, and is one of the leaders at the forefront of the movement of millenials in civic leadership (see Rethink Leadership below). Alex was elected and sworn into office in May 2011 and will serve a four year term through May 2015.
Alex’s past service to South Orange includes serving on the South Orange Public Library Board, the Citizen’s Public Safety Committee, and as the volunteer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordinator. Alex is currently an active member and EMT at the South Orange Rescue Squad, which he has been with since June 2010. Alex also serves as the Village's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Coordinator.
Alex acquired his B.A. in the Political Science of American Law and Government from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, where he served as student government president for two years and worked for the school newspaper and radio station. He also founded Hampshire’s Public Safety and Health Committee, Hampshire’s tennis team, and was involved with the founding of the Department of Public Safety’s student security program. Alex’s course of study included looking at political science, legal philosophy, behavioral economics, public policy and anthropology. His senior thesis was a 14 month research project on the history and implications of alcohol policy in the United States, which included organizing a Five College conference on tackling alcohol abuse problems on college campuses. Alex completed his Master of Public Administration in emergency management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2013.
Professionally, Alex founded and is a partner of Veracity Media, a cutting-edge boutique digital strategies consulting firm that helps nonprofits and political candidates utilize new media tools and online organizing to tell their stories and engage their audiences.
In 2012, Alex also launched Rethink Leadership, a nonpartisan nonprofit aimed at inspiring and supporting young and otherwise nontraditional political candidates to run for office as a way to positively benefit their community. The goal of Rethink Leadership is to not only help encourage people towards greater civics participation, but also to help create a more collaborative political environment through local workshops, seminars and networking events.
As one of the country's most vocal elected officials on open government, Alex has given lectures, published articles, and regularly attends conferences on the subject Recently Alex has spoken at POLITICO Pro, the Personal Democracy Forum, National Constitution Center, Social Media Week NYC & LA, and at colleges and community groups across the region. Alex has been awarded several open government awards and accolades, including from the New Jersey American Civil Liberties Union and the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government.
Alex is an avid reader, writer, hiker, photographer, hobby tennis player and drummer who can often be found in his (theoretical) free time camped out in the local Starbucks with a stack of books about constitutional government, history or quantum physics or engrossed in the latest TED talk.
A graduate of Columbia High School, he and his family lived in Maplewood for 10 years before moving to South Orange in 1998.