Wednesday, February 23, 2011



Joseph Makhandal Champagne is Mayor of the Borough of South Toms River, New Jersey. He was elected on November 2, 2010. Two years earlier, November 2, 2008, during Barack Obama’s presidential election, Mayor Champagne won the Councilman seat in a landslide against an incumbent in South Toms River. Mayor Champagne is committed and passionate about serving his constituency and community. He is married with two beautiful daughters.
Mr. Champagne holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and with science concentrations from Columbia University (where he received a full academic scholarship). Upon graduation, Mr. Champagne returned to Brooklyn to teach Environmental and Earth Science along with Mathematics at his former High School (Sarah J. Hale High School in Brooklyn where he had graduated top of his class). A year later, he attended Georgetown University, Law Center’s Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-law Institute program, where he won the Best Respondent Advocate award of class of 1999. Mayor Champagne earned his Juris Doctor degree from Vermont Law School (VLS). While at VLS, asides from being on Deans’ List, he founded The Vermont Law Student Leadership Collective for Human Rights, a campus wide student group that identifies and promotes leadership talents. As an exchange student, Mayor Champagne also studied European Union Law at the University of Trento, School of Law, in Trento, Italy.
Upon graduation, Mayor Champagne served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Wendell E. Daniels, J.S.C., of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Ocean County. Mayor Champagne practices in New Jersey and focuses primarily on immigration, criminal and civil law. Mr. Champagne is a member of the Ocean County Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in the New Jersey Supreme Court, the United States District Court, the Third and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States of America. He appears regularly in Federal courts, in addition to State and Municipal courts throughout New Jersey. He serves on several advisory committees including Alternative Dispute Resolution, Law Day, and Minority Concerns.
Notwithstanding the practice of law, Mr. Champagne is passionate about social engineering and actively serves in this capacity. He is a board member of Ocean Community Economic Action Now, (O.C.E.A.N., Inc.), a community agency that provides comprehensive services to improve the quality of life of individuals and assist them in moving toward self sufficiency. Mayor Champagne is also a member of the Global Syndicate, Haitian-American Leadership Council and the National Haitian-American Elected Officials Network (NHAEON). He also served as an assistant to the Public Policy Counsel and Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, D.C.
Mayor Champagne is an inductee in the All American Scholar Book, 1993 and from 2001 to 2002 he was elected in the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges for his outstanding merit and accomplishment as a student at Vermont Law School.
Provided By: The Office of Mayor Champagne


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