James King, named executive director of the NJCC
James King, named executive director of the NJCC
James King has been named the new executive director of the New Jersey Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey. 

King, director of the NJCC Office for Social Concerns since 2012, had been serving as interim director for the past year. He succeeds Patrick R. Brannigan, who retired Oct. 4, 2019, after 13 years of service to the organization.

As executive director, King will be responsible for the overall management, supervision, and administration of the NJCC’s Trenton Office and staff. He also will provide advice to the bishops of New Jersey on legislation and other matters of statewide concern, and serve as the liaison between the Church and government agencies.

“Mr. King brings to his new service both impressive academic credentials and valuable experience. He will help the Catholic community work effectively with all the people of this great state in service of the common good. We welcome his partnership in our mission,” said Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R, archbishop of Newark and president of the conference.

King joined the NJCC in 2012 as director of Social Concerns. He served as the liaison to federal, state, and local agencies in support of the Church’s social teaching mission. During that time, he worked on several initiatives including assisting the New Jersey Department of Health with developing their online portal for birth parents and adoptees seeking information concerning New Jersey’s open adoption records law and co-chaired the N.J. attorney general’s Human Trafficking Task Force faith-based subcommittee.

In 2017, King deployed with Catholic Charities USA Disaster Response Team. He served for several weeks assisting in post-Hurricane Maria disaster response efforts.

King graduated from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia, with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 2001 and completed a master’s degree in moral theology there in 2012.

Before joining NJCC, he worked for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 2007 to 2012, where he was the first layperson to serve as director for the Office of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees. In that capacity, he coordinated pastoral care for Catholic immigrants, including a pilot program to increase grassroots advocacy efforts for comprehensive immigration reform.

King also spent two years as an aide in the Hamilton district office of U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, working there from 2005 to 2007. While there, he said he appreciated being able to “work directly with people affected by critical issues such as housing, as opposed to them just being statistics.”

Founded in 1949, the NJCC represents the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey on matters of public policy. NJCC serves as a liaison to governmental agencies and institutions and coordinates communications and activities between the Bishops and secular agencies. The Archbishop of Newark is the President of NJCC. There are more than 3.5 million Catholics registered in seven dioceses throughout New Jersey.