Jersey City Mayor-elect Steven Fulop today announced that he has filled two key positions.
Jeremy Farrell, an associate with the Morristown office of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, was named corporation counsel and Muhammed Akil, who works in the city’s Health and Human Services Department, was named chief of staff to the mayor.
“Jeremy and Muhammed are truly professionals and will be huge assets to the quarter million plus residents of Jersey City.” Fulop said. “I am not only thrilled, but lucky, that they have agreed to join my administration in these respective roles. They understand that it’s going to take hard work and commitment to transform City Hall to make it more responsive to the needs of Jersey City residents.”
Farrell, whose legal specialty at the firm includes municipal law, said he knows the work that lies ahead will not be easy, but he welcomes the challenge.
“I am honored to join the Fulop administration and I’m looking forward to serving the residents of this great city,” Farrell said.
Farrell received his bachelor’s degree in political science and international development from McGill University in 2005 and his law degree from Seton Hall University in 2007. He served as law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh in 2008-09.
Farrell is the a Ronald J. Riccio Public Interest Fellow at his law firm, where he is charged with being a liaison to pro-bono and community outreach initiatives, diversity and inclusion events, recruiting, and associate development projects. Additionally, Farrell is a member of the Seton Hall University School of Law’s Diversity Council and is co-chairman of the Subcommittee on Diversity in the Profession for that Council.
Since 2005, Akil has worked as a system’s analyst and a project manager in the city’s Department of Health and Human Services, where, among his other assignments, he was directly responsible for hiring and supervising a staff of 25 who oversee 70 feeding sites for the Summer Food Program for Children, one of the largest in the state. He previously worked in Jersey City as a mayoral aide, an aide to the corporation council and assistant business administrator.
“I look forward to working with this team because it has a relentless work ethic that is second to none,” Akil said. “We will be focused on making Jersey City a better place to live for every resident in every ward.”
Akil received his bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University in communication studies and business administration and began graduate work for a doctorate in communications studies at Northwestern University.
Akil, a resident of the Bergen Lafayette neighborhood, is also the founder and executive director of More than a Race, a non-profit organization that is designed to help at-risk youth in Jersey City through education and recreation activities. Akil is also a distance runner, who twice completed an ultra-marathon (56 miles) in South Africa.
Farrell and Akil are the first two members of the administration to be named. Fulop said more senior-level staff will be named in the days leading up to his swearing in on July 1. Fulop won the non-partisan municipal election on May 11.