Honorable Robert L. Bowser, Mayor
City of East Orange
Mayor Robert L. Bowser is the twelfth Mayor of the City of East Orange. He holds the distinction of being the first African American in the history of the City to have been elected to serve a third term.
Mayor Bowser hails from a family whose presence in East Orange dates back to the late 1800's and is one of the City's oldest African American families. He is a graduate of the Newark College of Engineering, now the New Jersey Institute of Technology, earning a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. Trained as a Civil Engineer, Planner and Surveyor, Mayor Bowser is a Professional Land Surveyor and Professional Planner in the State of New Jersey. He began his professional career as a Principal City Planner for the Newark Central Planning Board and Traffic Engineer for the Township of Montclair. Mayor Browser was president of Bowser Engineers and Associates, Incorporated for twenty-six years. This East Orange-based engineering, planning, surveying and architectural design firm grew to become one of the largest minority-owned consulting firms on the East Coast. Following this experience as the head of a successful business, he became the Director of the East Orange Department of Public Works and served as the Acting City Planner.
Prior to becoming Mayor, he served the Newark Board of Education as a School District Principal Engineer in the Design and Construction Department. Active in numerous community, social and civic affairs, Mayor Bowser served on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Greater Essex County, New Jersey for ten years and was a member of the Brick Church Lions Club; President of the East Orange Kiwanis Club and Chairman of the Rutgers University Urban Gardening Program Advisory Board. He was founder and Executive Director of the Essex County Touch Football League for twenty-six years. He is a member of the Men of Essex, Incorporated; Board Member of the Salvation Army and Member of the East Orange General Hospital Board of Trustees.
Mayor Bowser's professional affiliations include Past President of the Northern Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Incorporated and membership with the National Minority Contractors Association, Incorporated. He is on the Board of Directors of the National Black Conference of Mayors and co-chairs the Conference's Legislative Committee. He is a member of the National Black Conference of Mayors' Board of Directors and serves as the organization's First Vice President and Finance Committee Chairperson.
Mayor Bowser is a Founder of the New Jersey Conference of Black Mayors and was selected as President in 2003 and is a member of the United States Conference of Mayors, Incorporated. He was recently appointed to Acting Governor Richard Codey's Gang Land Security Task Force Advisory Committee and the State of New Jersey Planning Commission. Mayor Bowser serves on the New Jersey State League of Municipalities Executive Board as the Third Vice President. He chairs the newly formed Gang and Youth Violence Task Force. He also serves on the Legislative Committee and Economic Development Committee, participating in numerous League workshops and is a member of the New Jersey Urban Mayor's Association. Mayor Bowser is married to Marilyn Bowser and is father to son David Bowser and daughters Lisa A Ward and Leslie J. Ward.