Richard W. Roper, a public policy consultant, retired in 2010 as director of the Planning Department at The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Previously he served for 11 years as president of The Roper Group, a public policy consulting firm specializing in economic and social policy research and analysis. He was Director of the Port Authority’s Office of Economic and Policy Analysis and director of the Port Authority’s Office of Business and Job Opportunity. Prior to that Mr. Roper served as a Senior Fellow at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York in Albany; in several roles at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs -- assistant dean for Graduate Career Services and Government Relations, Director of the Program for New Jersey Affairs, Executive Director of the Council on New Jersey Affairs, and lecturer in Public and International Affairs; and in the Carter Administration as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Commerce and then as director of the Department’s Office of State and Local Government Assistance. Mr. Roper began his public affairs career in Newark, NJ where he was director of the Office of Newark Metropolitan Studies from 1974-78, and prior to that was the Legislative Aide to Newark’s first African-American Mayor, Kenneth Gibson. Earlier in his career, he served as a special assistant to the director of the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services; as an education program director at the Greater Newark Urban Coalition; and as assistant to the Vice Chancellor of the New Jersey Department of Higher Education.
Mr. Roper was a founding trustee of Newark Emergency Services for Families, a co-founder of the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute, Inc., co-founder of New Jersey Future, and co-founder of Leadership Newark. He was a founding Trustee of Newark Public Radio, Inc., the licensee of radio station WBGO-FM, Jazz 88, the New Jersey Institute of Social Justice, and University Heights Charter School.
Roper currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government at SUNY, a Visiting Associate at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, is on the board at La Casa de Don Pedro, member of the Board of Directors with the NJ Coalition for Diverse and Inclusive Schools, and a member of the Board of Governors, Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey. He also serves on the Board of Deacons at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, NJ. Roper earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey at Newark and a Master in Public Affairs degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has been a member of the Board of The Fund for New Jersey since 2007 and was elected Chair in 2020.