New Leaders Council – New Jersey Announces 2022 Fellows Class

The New Jersey Statehouse and Capitol Building In Trenton

New Leaders Council – New Jersey Announces 2022 Fellows Class

Class of 20 Emerging Leaders Selected for Premier Progressive Training Institute 


New Leaders Council New Jersey (NLC-NJ) — the local chapter of the nation’s largest organization that develops, connects, and uplifts inclusive, cross-sector leaders who transform our country through social and political change rooted in equity — announced today the selection of 20 New Jersey progressive residents as the 2022 NLC-NJ Fellows. This class will join a local chapter of more than 215 alumni and a nationwide alumni network of over 10,000 trained progressive leaders nationwide.


“We are thrilled to welcome 20 new leaders to the NLC-NJ family,” said Petra Gaskins, Director of New Leaders Council – New Jersey and Chief of Staff to Senator-Elect Andrew Zwicker. “The 2022 class of fellows includes leaders from every corner of the state committed to showing up in their communities and taking on the most pressing challenges we face as a nation. I can say with confidence that the future of the progressive movement is bright in New Jersey with emerging leaders like these.”


The NLC Institute provides intensive leadership development and meaningful connection with other changemakers across issues, industries, and identities. The program takes place over six months, focused on skills building for each cohort on topics such as entrepreneurial goal setting, strategic communications, digital organizing, finance and fundraising, coalition building, public policy, and equity and inclusion.


“This is how we build the progresive bench,” said Louis Di Paolo, Deputy Director of NLC-NJ and Communications Director at New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP). “NLC-NJ is all about training the next generation of leaders through skills-based training, mentorship, and the strongest network of changemakers in the state. We wish a sincere and big congratulations to the 2022 class of fellows.”


The New Jersey Chapter recruits local trainers to implement the program, providing a premier training experience and a firm grounding in the local community. NLC Fellows are civic, political, social, and business entrepreneurs who lead the charge on the ground to solve the most critical challenges facing our communities.


2022 Fellows List


Michael Affrunti, Connell Foley LLP

Adrian Ballesteros, Legrand AV and Town of Dover

Jose Calves, Brown & Connery LLP

Reena Chojar, America Needs You

Anthony Covington, Deloitte Consulting

Erik Cruz Morales, The Fund for New Jersey

Mariel DiDato, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission

Austin Edwards, New Jersey Office of Attorney General

Peter Frank, New Jersey Department of Education

Stephan Lally, New Jersey Assembly Majority Office

Raj Manimaran, The College of New Jersey Office of Government and Community Relations

Hera Mir, Advocate

Andrew Moreira, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Medinah Muhammad, Office of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

Rachel Smith, The Aubrey Group

Alexandra Staropoli, Fair Share Housing Center

Taraun Tice McKnight, Office of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

Gurnoor Tucker, McKinsey & Company

Marleina Ubel, New Jersey Policy Perspective

Alexandra Viqueira, McCarter & English LLP


Full bios are available at 




New Leaders Council is a 501c3 and is the leading training program for rising generation progressive leaders. NLC equips its leaders with the skills to run for office, manage campaigns, create startups and networks of thought leaders. NLC leaders take their activism back into their communities and workplaces to impact progressive change. To learn more, please visit


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