Thomas Russo currently serves as Town Manager in Newton, NJ, with 14 years of dedicated service to the County Seat of Sussex County, NJ. Thomas Russo has 24 years of experience in municipal and county government as well as the nonprofit sector. His experience includes but is not limited to budgeting, purchasing, human resources, public relations, project oversight, contract negotiations, government relations, economic revitalization & redevelopment, and community relations. Thomas Russo is a competent and confident servant leader; a proven visionary and strategic thinker with highly effective communications and organizational skills.
Thomas Russo previously served as an elected official in two NJ municipalities. He was a Committeeman in Bernards Township from 2014–2017. He served as a Councilman, Council Vice President, and Council President in Parsippany-Troy Hills Township from 1998–2005, earning the distinction as the youngest-ever elected Governing Body member in the history of the Township. Thomas Russo also dedicated time to countless political campaigns from 1992–2014 attending several inaugurations and conventions. He was selected as part of the inaugural class of young elected leaders at the 1stNational Young Elected Leaders Conference, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University. He was also chosen by the NJ Herald in 2009 as one of 40 influential people in Sussex County under the age of 40. Other relevant professional experience includes his service as a Fundraising Associate at Far Brook School in Short Hills, NJ; Director of Public Affairs and Information at the Morris County Sheriff’s Office in Morristown, NJ; Manager of Development at Chilton Medical Center, Pompton Plains, NJ; Senior Editor, Communications at Organon Pharma USA; and Assistant Township Manager in Randolph, NJ.
Thomas Russo is a member of the New Jersey Municipal Management Association (NJMMA) and as Chairman of the Statewide Insurance Fund, a committed group of over 80 NJ municipalities that pool resources to manage insurance claims and coverage. He is a Community Advisory Board member of both Newton Medical Center - Atlantic Health Group and Bristol Glen Independent and Assisted Living Methodist Community. He is also an Executive Committee member of the North Jersey Municipal Employee Benefits Fund (NJMEBF), a consortium of forward-thinking communities which pool resources to effectively manage employee health insurance costs.
Thomas Russo has a Certified Public Manager (CPM) degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University/State of NJ, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from Seton Hall University, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in both Communication and Political Science from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He is an adjunct professor in the undergraduate LEAD program at Pillar College, Newark, NJ; an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs at his alma mater, Seton Hall University, in South Orange, NJ, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on nonprofit management and leadership; and an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ, where he teaches graduate courses in the School of Public and Global Affairs. In 2022, Mr. Russo will be an adjunct professor at both Florida State University (online MPA program) and Florida International University (online MPA program).
Thomas recently published his first book, a memoir of his life experiences and how he gave up New Jersey politics and found servant leadership as his calling. The purpose of his book, There Are No Politics In Heaven, is to help individuals work through their brokenness and improve their lives with spirituality as their cornerstone. Mr. Russo is also a student in the Public Leadership Credential (PLC) Program at Harvard University’s renowned Kennedy School of Government. He currently attends Grace Fellowship Chapel with his family in Bedminster, NJ, and serves as a volunteer with Pause Ministries in Basking Ridge, NJ. He resides in the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, NJ with his wife Patricia, Director of The Children’s Corner Preschool, the largest ministry of Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church. They have two college-age daughters, Ashley (The Pennsylvania State University) and Krista (Florida State University).
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