Althea D. Ford will join the New Jersey Business & Industry Association as Vice President of Government Affairs, effective Jan. 31, NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka announced today.

Ford, who previously served as director of government relations for the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association (NJSFDA), brings valuable experience as a skilled researcher, legislative policy analyst and public speaker to her new role at NJBIA.

“Althea is well-respected by the business community, and the balanced, experienced and thoughtful approach she brings to advocating for New Jersey businesses will be a great asset as we expand the NJBIA Government Affairs team,” Siekerka said.

The NJBIA Government Affairs team also includes Chief Government Affairs Officer Christopher Emigholz, Deputy Chief Government Affairs Officer Ray Cantor, Vice President of Government Affairs Alexis Bailey, and Director of Economic Policy Research Kyle Sullender.

A New Jersey native and Edison resident, Ford began working for the not-for-profit trade organization NJSFDA in 2012 as a government and external relations representative before her promotion to director of government relations in 2018.

Prior to joining NJSFDA, Ford worked in higher education administration at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City.

Before moving back to New Jersey, Ford was an executive assistant to Tennessee State Senate Speaker Pro Tem Rosalind Kurita, managing two legislative and district offices.

Ford is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and earned her master’s degree in politics and education from the Teachers College at Columbia University in 2010. She completed the New Leaders Council–New Jersey (NLC-NJ) Fellowship Program in 2012 and served on its executive board.