Featured Fellow: Alex Torpey, South Orange Village President

James Madison Fellow, Alex Torpey is an independent elected official in South Orange, New Jersey. Alex became one of the youngest mayors in the United States at age 23 in 2011.

As South Orange Village President, Torpey was inspired by third-grade students he recently visited at South Mountain Elementary School, particularly when a female student asked: “Can a woman become village president?”

Realizing the unique position he’s in to create new opportunities for students, Torpey worked with school officials to establish the “Village President For A Day” program. 

Each month, one student from a South Orange-Maplewood school will be invited take over Torpey’s job in a variety of ways, including presiding over a Board of Trustees meeting, leading the pledge of allegiance, or giving a speech if they choose.

The first Honorary Village President was Gunjan Jacinto herself, the inspiration behind Torpey’s new initiative. In the video below, you can see this 9-year-old slam the gavel, pass resolutions and be an all-around adorable Village President.

In April, Torpey invited second-grade student Aidan Egan-Liang to be the second Village President for a Day.  After an exciting day of touring the South Orange Police Headquarters and learning the inner-workings of the men and woman in uniform, Aidan showed his enthusiasm with the best face ever:

Photo credit: Alex Torpey

Photo credit: Alex Torpey

Professionally, Alex founded and is a partner of Veracity Media - a purpose-driven social impact consulting firm. Alex also serves as an Adjunct Faculty of governance and technology at Seton Hall University.