UNION COUNTY, NJ - Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi has received a Certificate of Public Leadership (CPL) from the George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership, marking the successful completion of CPL coursework. As President of the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials and Treasurers (IACREOT), Rajoppi was the driving force in fostering the CPL program with George Washington University.  

The CPL program is a partnership between IACREOT and George Washington University, one of the nation’s leading academic institutions. It is designed to provide public officials in recording and related fields with a rigorous professional development experience. The hallmarks of the CPL program are timely subject matter, top quality instruction and an opportunity to share knowledge with peers in the field.

“Public service is a commitment to leadership in the face of new challenges and constant change, and to be effective there must also be a commitment to learning,” said Rajoppi. “The CPL program at George Washington University provides an excellent opportunity for officials to exchange information and to stay up to date with emerging developments.”

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The CPL program provides a professional development curriculum tailored to membership in IACREOT. Of the 10 required classes, five can be taken in-person at IACREOT annual and semi-annual meetings. The other five may be taken online. All classes are conducted by George Washington University instructors.

“Particularly regarding election and fiscal issues, our field is growing increasingly complex,” said Rajoppi. “Through this partnership with George Washington University, IACREOT members can learn from each other, as well as from experts in the field. Many of my constituent services in Union County have emerged from discussions with fellow IACREOT members.”

Rajoppi has been a member of IACREOT since 1984 and served as president from 2012 to 2013. The experience of leading the international organization enabled her to work with other governments nationally and internationally, and to share experiences and exchange information on pending federal legislation, improved systems, and emerging issues.

Rajoppi was first elected to the Office of County Clerk in 1995, after serving as the Union County Register of Deeds and Mortgages for 12 years.  As required by the New Jersey state constitution, she is responsible for administering elections and recording property documents.

Technology has been a driving force behind some of Rajoppi’s initiatives, including the imaging of property documents for 24/7 online access, and the new UCVotes app, which provides voters with critical election information on their mobile devices.

In 2008, Rajoppi was instrumental in calling attention to serious discrepancies in voting machines, leading to court-ordered improvements in voting machine security. She has also worked to ensure that public documents cannot be used by identity thieves.

Her office also provides free services for veterans, including free honorable discharge ID cards that help veterans access services more easily. The County Clerk’s office also keeps an online directory of local retailers and other businesses that provide discounts to veterans.

Rajoppi is a six-time recipient of the National Association of Counties Award for innovative government and computerization. She also is a recipient of the prestigious Gill C. Job Award from the Constitutional Officers Association of NJ (COANJ), former President of COANJ and former President of New Jersey Association of Counties. She served as an adjunct professor at Rutgers University for almost 20 years teaching Public Administration.

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