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Joe Forte, MPA 

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Joe Forte, MPA 
Class of 2021 BEQ Pride LGBTQ Leader Under 40
(He, Him) is 30

The year 2020 feels like a worldwide wake-up call in so many ways. As a leader, I realize the most important thing I have learned and will take forward is…

2020 has taught me the importance of being a more loving and caring person.

Joe Forte, MPA, MS has been working in state government for over a decade. Leading outreach for the Office of Diversity Programs for the New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC), he develops and delivers outreach initiatives to increase diversity within the state government by hosting regional job fairs and speaking with hundreds of community organizations, high schools and college students each year. Forte currently serves as a national member of the Victory Fund Campaign Board, which recruits, trains and fundraises for LGBTQ candidates running for public office and is Vice-Chair of the New Jersey LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus.

In 2018, Forte joined the NJ CSC as a Communications Officer within the Office of Strategic  Communications serving as an aide to the CEO/Chair. Before joining CSC, he worked in the Office of Governor Phil Murphy as a Project Specialist in the Department of Cabinet Affairs where he assisted in the placement of over 15,000 applicants for jobs and worked in the New Jersey Legislature, starting as an intern and eventually serving as chief of staff for three members.  Their portfolios covered telecommunications, the innovation economy, higher education and workforce development.

Forte holds a Master of Public Administration and a certificate in Strategic Communications, both from Rutgers University. In addition, he has a Master of Science degree from Northeastern University in Global Studies and International Affairs and he has a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University. Forte received his B.A. from Rider University, cum laude, with a certificate in leadership development. He was elected into Pi Alpha Alpha, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Beta Delta, and Pi Sigma Alpha International Honor Societies. He also earned an Associate of Arts degree from Raritan Valley Community College.

Forte’s areas of expertise include community outreach, strategic communications planning and management, media relations, reputation and brand management, crisis communication, content creation, corporate social responsibility, social media and internal communications.

Forte’s recent recognitions include the 2020 Governor’s Statewide Employee Recognition Award for Innovation and Efficiency and Workplace Excellence in 2019. In addition, he was included on the “Millennials to Watch” list in 2020 and one of the “Top 100 Millennials” in New Jersey Politics in 2019 by InsiderNJ.com. He was also listed in InsiderNJ.com’s “N.J.’s LGBT Power List” in 2020, 2019 and 2018 where he was described as a “workhorse,” “diligent” and a “well-respected political operative.” 

In 2020, Joe was appointed Co-Chair of LGBTQ+ for Biden/Harris New Jersey where he assisted in fundraising, writing press releases supporting the Biden/Harris ticket and organizing volunteers into battle states for the campaign. In 2017, Joe served as a GOTV lead for Governor Murphy’s campaign in Somerset County, NJ, and has been involved in various federal, state and local campaigns.

Forte is a national member of the Victory Fund Campaign Board and Vice-Chair of the New Jersey LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. He also serves as a Zoning Board member for Lawrence Township, NJ, and is a Mercer County Democratic Committee Member. When he has free time, Forte enjoys working on disability policy, hiking, traveling and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event.

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