Trainer Profile
Jun Choi

Jun Choi
Former Mayor, Edison, NJ
Edison, NJ

Candidate Training
What it Means to Be a Candidate

Jun H. Choi was the Mayor of Edison Township, New Jersey, a community of over 100,000 people and the 5th largest municipality in the State.  He was sworn-in on January 1, 2006.  His administration was focused on fiscal responsibility, land use policy reform, economic revitalization, police reform and public safety, education, rebuilding public trust, and bringing together the diverse and dynamic communities of Edison.

During his tenure, Mayor Choi’s goal has been to make Edison a model for good government in New Jersey. He recruited top professional managers, fought entrenched special interests and brought a business sense to Edison government. To bring fiscal discipline to municipal finances, he downsized municipal government by approximately 10% (80 full-time employees), renegotiated labor contracts and invested heavily in technology to save millions of dollars per year. He reorganized all the major departments to improve services while delivering them more efficiently. He launched multiple initiatives to revamp the planning process including the $300,000 state-sponsored Edison Smart Growth Planning Initiative to revitalize the Routes 1 & 27 corridors. He secured millions of dollars in grants to preserve open space, upgrade parks and restore the Edison Memorial Tower, the birthplace of the technological revolution, where Thomas Alva Edison perfected the incandescent light bulb.

His administration established the Edison Redevelopment Agency to place a greater emphasis on redeveloping areas that need revitalization. The 1.2 million square foot Ford Redevelopment project on Route 1 – Edison Towne Square – was successfully negotiated and construction is expected to begin in 2009. In addition, the administration made professionalizing police operations a high priority – a new Police Director position was established and the senior command staff was reorganized. Under the Director’s leadership, a State accreditation process which sets the highest standards and best practices in law enforcement is nearly complete, a new CompStat performance tracking system was initiated, new technology was implemented in every patrol car and community policing has been significantly expanded.

In 2008, Edison received several honors including the “Best Place to Raise Kids” in New Jersey according to Business Week magazine. The Edison area received the “Safest Place for Women” in America according to SELF magazine. CNN Money magazine continues to rank the Township as one of the “Best Places to Live” in the nation. Edison government also received the Innovation in Governance Award for its efforts in energy technology and services by the NJ League of Municipalities and the NJ Department of Community Affairs.

Prior to his elected position, Mayor Choi worked on education policy as Executive Director of a Student Achievement Task Force at the New Jersey Department of Education.  Recognizing that Edison’s great public education system opened all kinds of opportunities for him, he remains focused on policies that would provide the same opportunities to our children. He continues to advocate for educational improvements at the State level. He served as Chair of the Mayors’ School Funding Committee in 2007 and is the current Chair of the Mayors’ Education Policy Study Committee. Before joining the New Jersey Department of Education, he co-authored the New Jersey Charter School report with the CEO of Citizens for Better Schools, a New Jersey-based advocacy and policy organization.

Beyond education, Mayor Choi held positions at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (White House Budget Office) and worked as a management consultant for Ernst & Young LLP advising Fortune 500 companies on business and technology strategy.

A Democrat all his life, Mayor Choi has been involved in politics since college. He served on the 2000 Bill Bradley for President campaign in New Jersey, New Hampshire and California. His primary roles were serving as special assistant to the New Hampshire State Director and field coordinator. His early experiences in politics deepened his sense that too many citizens don’t feel that they can make a difference and improve our collective future. He believes in strengthening the Democratic party by making it more responsive to the issues that affect everyday people.

Mayor Choi graduated from J.P. Stevens High School, earned his Bachelor's of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University. He is a Leadership New Jersey (Class of 2003) fellow and has taught economics and public policy as an adjunct professor. At age 37, Mayor Choi enjoys traveling and reading.  He is engaged to marry his sweetheart, Lisa M. Lee, and they look forward to starting their family in Edison. He grew up and resides in Edison, New Jersey.