Remarkable Newarkers

Remarkable Newarkers: Celia King

Celia King, CEO of Leadership Newark

Remarkable Newarkers is a series profiling people who live and/or work in Newark who are making a positive contribution to the city.

The impact of Leadership Newark CEO Celia King in the City of Newark has resonated since she took the helm at the organization's inception two decades ago.

Leadership Newark was created to engage and support Newark's community and civic leaders and borne out of a desire to strengthen the city's civic infrastructure through public policy enrichment and leadership development, with the organization now boasting a network of nearly 700 people who live, work or play in the state's largest city.

Sign Up for E-News

The organization has brought together key stakeholders in a variety of sectors including government, business, corporate, nonprofit and education that has helped bring about the city's renaissance. 

King, who is the daughter of Panamanian parents and considers herself a Latina of African descent, has served on several boards at social services agencies, charter schools and arbitration committees within the judicial system.

"I stay civically engaged and encourage active engagement for everyone who crosses Leadership Newark's threshold," King said. "Simply put, in any community one must be both present and an active participant in order to know and learn what is happening and what matters may need to be changed or improved."

In 2014, former Newark Mayor Cory Booker publicly lauded Leadership Newark, noting that his administration had benefitted significantly from the organization.

"The impact of Leadership Newark is being felt throughout our great city," Booker said.

Leadership Newark has assisted organizations throughout Newark such as Focus Hispanic Center for Community Development, the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation and the National Center for Public Performance and Productivity.

The organization's public policy fellowship program has attracted a diverse group of professionals to actively participate in improving Newark communities.

In addition, Leadership Newark offers programs for youth, teens and adults including board service training, public policy summits, board match and placement and special initiatives to support local nonprofits. 

"I feel I have one of the best jobs," King said. "Each and every day I have the opportunity to engage experts to share their knowledge and expertise with a group of committed individuals to being engaged in public policy and social justice issues for the greater good. The work never gets old because there is always something new to learn, be it a new issue or problem all together or a different angle."

A few years ago, Rutgers University-Newark conducted an assessment to determine if Leadership Newark was having a tangible impact in the city.  

The study found that Leadership Newark's alumni network reported a deeper engagement in the city's public affairs, an increase in their social and cultural engagement within Newark and a strong level of personal growth through exposure to training offered by Leadership Newark.

"I classify those admitted as the 'human capital' of this community and investing in them makes for a stronger city overall," King said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


He Grew Up In James Baxter Terrace. Today, He Ushers in a Newark Condo Complex

July 19, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Hassan Keith grew up in the city’s James Baxter Terrace public housing, and now he's come back to unveil a 24-unit condominium complex on Clinton Avenue he helped build. 

Keith teamed up with the NFL's Mike Adams to form the Mid-Atlantic Investment Alliance development company along with two others. Today, they cut the ribbon on the new Lofts at ...

Mothers Mobilize in Newark to Protest Trump Family Separation Policy

June 22, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - A group of New Jersey mothers took time to come to Newark with the kind of loved ones recently taken from other mothers: their children.

"It's unconscionable that our government is stealing children from their parents and locking them up in cages," said Christina Liu, a Montclair mom holding her baby daughter, commenting on President Donald Trump's recent ...

Market Street Patrol Building May Be Named After Late Undersheriff

June 28, 2018

NEWARK, NJ — The death of Essex County Undersheriff Kevin Ryan on June 20 was a "devastating loss" for the department and for the county’s sheriff, Armando Fontoura.

“He was like a son to me. He was always the first one on the scene. He was always there to help. It’s just devastating. There is not much more I can say," Fontoura said in a ...

Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Opens Camp DeWitt Conference Center and Activity Building

July 2, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, N.J. – If you don’t know by now, Girl Scouts is much more than cookies, crafts, and summer camp.

In fact, the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey say they should host your next professional business conference, special event, or any other big celebration in which you are looking to seriously impress.

Look no further than Camp DeWitt in Hillsborough, the site of ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, July 27, 10:00 AM

Lincoln Park, Newark

Lincoln Park Music Festival Sustainable Health ...


Thu, August 16, 5:00 PM

Branch Brook Park, Newark

Movies Under the Stars

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

A Statewide Solution on Disposable Bags Aids the Fight Against Litter

June 29, 2018

The New Jersey Clean Communities Council (NJCCC) just released the results of a year-long visual litter study that shows that nearly 10 percent of all litter on our roadways and highways is in the form of plastic and paper bags.

There is no doubt that these bags are of significant and ongoing environmental concern, creating an even more difficult job for our clean communities volunteers across ...