Policy Summit Examines Solutions To NJ’s Infrastructure Challenges


Policy Summit Examines Solutions To NJ’s Infrastructure Challenges
New Leaders Council NJ Spurs Dialogue on One Of States Most Pressing Issues

This past Saturday at the Rutgers University Student Activities Center, the New Jersey Chapter of the New Leaders Council (NLC-New Jersey), held its 2nd Annual Policy Summit focused on “Improving New Jersey’s Infrastructure.

The keynote speaker for the event was former New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Jamie Fox, who was making his 1st public appearance since leaving the position.  Fox talked about the implications of the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund potentially running out of money at the end of June and real reform at the Port Authority to help New Jersey’s infrastructure. “Crisis presents opportunity,” said Fox.

Maggie Moran, Managing Partner of Kivvit, moderated a panel on recent developments in public transportation and the future of transportation in New Jersey, including the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund and the Gateway Project featuring Robert Briant of the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association of New Jersey, Joseph McNamara with the Laborers Employers Cooperation and Education Trust, Courtenay Mercer of the Regional Plan Association and Mike Smart of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

“The future of New Jersey is completely dependent on a robust and modernized transportation and transit infrastructure,” said Maggie Moran. “That is why this forum is so critical and I applaud NLC for hosting such a lively discussion. If we fail to invest in the Transportation Trust Fund our quality of life, economic prosperity and safety will be in jeopardy. We cannot wait to act any longer - NLC is performing a terrific public service by making sure this next generation of leaders is educated on this crisis.” 

Roy Cho of NLC-NJ moderated a discussion on the need for infrastructure development and potential return on investment, including funding mechanisms such as public-private partnerships featuring Michael Hanley from NW Financial, Carlos Medina from the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey and New Jersey Assemblyman Troy Singleton. “We have to start thinking outside the box to develop solutions to this problem,” said Singleton.

To close the policy summit, Stephanie Lagos of NLC-NJ moderated a panel discussion on technological advantages that have the potential to increase efficiency, create cleaner energy, and change the way New Jersey’s energy infrastructure functions with panelists Leslie Barkemeyer of Sol Systems, Commissioner Upendra Chivukula from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Kenneth Esser with PSEG and Kris Ohleth of  Ecology and Environment, Inc.

“If we are going to solve the problems facing our generation it is imperative to have honest, open and frank conversations with leaders from throughout the stakeholder community,” said Justin Braz, NLC-NJ Chapter Director. “New Leaders Council will continue to be at the forefront in engaging policy conversations for our generation as evidenced by Saturday's remarkable turnout.”

You can learn more at and see photos from the summit at


“Improving New Jersey’s Infrastructure” Focus Of Policy Summit


“Improving New Jersey’s Infrastructure” Focus Of Policy Summit
New Leaders Council New Jersey hosts Event In New Brunswick On February 6th


New Brunswick, NJ – On Saturday, February 6 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM the New Jersey Chapter of the New Leaders Council (NLC-New Jersey), a 501(c)(3) that works to recruit, train and promote the progressive political entrepreneurs of tomorrow, will be holding its 2nd Annual Policy Summit, this time on the topic of Improving New Jersey’s Infrastructure.”  The event will be held at the Rutgers University Student Activities Center.

With state experts and thought-leaders in infrastructure development and management in attendance, there will be a lively discussion on the topic. Keynote speaker Jamie Fox, former New Jersey Transportation Commissioner, will be joined by Commissioner on the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Upendra Chivukula, and Sergio Alonso Fernandez de Cordova of the SDG-FUND at the United Nations. to help New Jersey’s leaders – of today and tomorrow – understand this critical issue facing our state. Assemblyman John Wisniewski has been invited to participate.

“At the New Leaders Council we aim to help our fellows and stakeholders learn skills that enable them to fight for progress in public policy, business, and social welfare,” said Justin Braz, Executive Director of NLC-New Jersey.  “New Jersey’s infrastructure is a pressing issue in the state, and we have brought together a prominent group of panelists and speakers from across the state to discuss the transportation and energy infrastructure in the state, and potential solutions on how to improve and maintain our infrastructure for the foreseeable future.”


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Justin Braz Talks NLC-NJ, Government, & Life Among Millennials On The Backgrounder With Paul Brubaker

NLC-NJ Executive Director Justin Braz appeared recently on The Backgrounder, a podcast hosted by Paul Brubaker, a former New Jersey journalist, political operative and staffer to numerous elected officials. In an interview that brought the show to new heights in keeping it real, Justin talked about New Leaders Council, politics, government and living as an unabashed yet unassuming member of the millennial generation.


You can listen to the podcast by clicking here, the whole interview is certainly worth your time.


We made Politicker's 30 under 30 List!.... 11 times!

Congratulations to our NLC NJ family members who made Politicker NJ’s 30 Under 30 List! We are so proud of our cohorts who are doing great things for the State of New Jersey.  

We're humbled to make up a third of list. This is what NLC NJ is all about: Building the next generation of progressive, political entrepreneurs.

Congratulations to: 

Justin Braz, Chapter Director

Matthew Bonasia, 2012 Fellows Class

Vin Gopal, Advisory Board

Paulina Grabczak, Advisory Board

Liz Mahn, Co-Recruitment Director, 2014  Fellows Class

Michael Makarski, 2012 Fellows Class

Brandon McKoy, Diversity Director, 2013 Fellows Class

Bill Moen, Advisory Board, 2013 Fellows Class

Kari Osmond, Advisory Board, 2011 Fellows Class

Justin Shoham, 2012 Fellows Class

Marshall Spevak, 2015 Fellows Class 

Applications are now open for the 2016 New Leaders Council New Jersey class. 

Do you know someone who will be on next year’s list?  You can now nominate them for an NLC fellowship, ensuring they will receive the skills and knowledge to make change in their communities.  

New Leaders Council New Jersey Wins National Chapter Of The Year, Fundraiser Of The Year Awards

(Princeton, NJ) – On Saturday night August 9, 2014 at the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento California for the New Leaders Council Leadership Retreat, the New Jersey Chapter of New Leaders Council was awarded the National Chapter of the Year. 

"The New Jersey Chapter is the NLC gold standard, said Mark Riddle, Executive Director, New Leaders Council. “NLC NJ continues to run an incredible institute, alumni program, and community engagement effort. NLC NJ goes above and beyond, having helped to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy Relief as well as by having hosted an incredible Northeast Conversation this March that was attended by over 250 guests. We are very proud of the New Jersey team." 

Nationally, New Leaders Council has 31 chapters and this marks the 2nd year in a row the New Jersey Chapter received the honor. In addition, New Leaders Council New Jersey took home Fundraiser of the Year for the Chapter’s Fellows Fundraiser and Tier I Fundraising Award overall.  The Chapter’s Fellows Fundraiser raised over $62,000 this year.

“The New Jersey Chapter continues to lead the way in helping to recruit, educate and equip young progressive leaders with the tools to make a difference in their local communities, said Troy Singleton, Honorary New Leaders Council New Jersey Chairman. 

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