Tara Colton is Executive Vice President for Economic Security at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). In this role, she leads initiatives that align with Governor Murphy’s commitment to a stronger, fairer New Jersey, where all residents can build economic security and well-being. Tara oversees NJEDA’s programs to alleviate food insecurity and eliminate food deserts, including the Food Desert Relief Act and Sustain & Serve NJ. She is also spearheading efforts to strengthen New Jersey’s vital child care sector and establish a Trenton-based maternal and infant health center with an emphasis on addressing racial disparities in care. She is playing a central role in the design and launch of the New Jersey Pay it Forward Program, a first-of-its-kind program that will provide interest- and fee-free loans to low‐income New Jersey career seekers participating in approved training programs.
Tara has nearly 20 years of leadership experience in the public and nonprofit sectors, focused on developing and implementing innovative programs and services for workers, families, students, and businesses. Prior to joining the NJEDA in February 2020, Tara was Executive Director of Seedco, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing economic opportunity for people, businesses and communities in need. She has held leadership positions in the New York City Mayor’s Office and NYC Department of Education, and at the nonprofits FEGS Health & Human Services and the Center for an Urban Future.
Tara received a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Wesleyan University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. She lives in Maplewood with her family.