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Eagleton Institute of Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics


Arthur J. Holland Program on Ethics in Government

2013-2014 Holland Lecture -Leadership for a Better America

Joe Sestak with Cynthia and Matt Holland  Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop delivered the lecture for the 2014 Arthur J. Holland Program for Ethics in Government.  The Iraqi War veteran and former investment banker spoke about his decision to return to public service and run for office following the tragic events of 9/11.  Fulop stressed the importance of openness in government and the need to make useful data more accessible to residents.  He suggested that New Jersey's location between two major urban media markets contributed to a scarcity of local media coverage.  Mayor Fulop felt that the limited reporting on municipal government had contributed to corruption in the past.  He spoke about using data and new technology to put more information the hands of the people to increase transparency and ensure greater government accountability.

Sestak with students

Rutgers professor Henry Coleman, Eagleton director Ruth B. Mandel, Betty Holland, Matthew Holland, Eagleton associate director John Weingart, Cynthia Holland, and Bill Dressel, executive director of the New Jersey League of Municipalities, gather for the 2014 Arthur J. Holland Program on Ethics in Government.

Short Bio of Steven Fulop

Steven Fulop grew up in Edison, NJ, the son of Romanian immigrants. He attended Binghamton University and spent time studying at Oxford University in England.

After witnessing the attacks of 9/11, Fulop made the decision to leave his job at Goldman Sachs and enlist in the United States Marine Corps. As a member of the 6th Engineer Support Battalion, he was deployed to Iraq. He and his unit were awarded the Overseas Service Ribbon, Meritorious Masts, and the Presidential Unit Citation. When he returned, Fulop became president of both the Historic Paulus Hook Association and the Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations. 

In 2004, he came to the attention of then-Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham, who supported him in a primary run against Democratic Senator Robert Menendez. Although that campaign was unsuccessful, Fulop's enthusiasm for the political process led to a run for City Council in 2005. His upset victory over the incumbent Ward E councilman made him the youngest elected official on the Jersey City council and the third youngest in the history of Jersey City. During this time, he also earned both his master's in business administration from New York University's Stern School of Business and his master's in public administration from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

Sestak with students

Eagleton graduate and undergraduate students with Jersey City Deputy Mayor Vivian Brady-Phillips (4th from right)

In May 2013, Fulop won a decisive victory over incumbent Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy to become the 49th Mayor of Jersey City.