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.
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