Skip to main content
Department of State

New Jersey Office of Faith Based Initiatives

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Lt. Governor and Secretary of State

About the Office

Mission statement

The mission of the New Jersey Office of Faith Based Initiatives (NJOFBI) is to eliminate barriers to funding and other resource opportunities; create greater access for partnership and enhance the capacity of faith and community based organizations (FBCOs) to create and implement innovative approaches that are designed for community and economic transformation.

OFBI Goals
  • Develop grant opportunities designed to support FBCOs to develop, design, create, innovative solutions that address conditions that negatively impact those that are socially and economically disenfranchised;
  • Create greater access to funding and other resource opportunities;
  • Provide innovative capacity building, training and technical assistance opportunities designed to improve the day to day implementation of programs and enhance organizational efficiency;
  • Nurture an environment that allows for the development of revenue generating models designed to address social issues and position FBCO’s to gain access to private capital for scale.
    • Social Innovation
    • Special Projects
    • Capacity Building and Infrastructure Development:
    • Project Applied Training Lasting Solutions (ATLAS)
    • Social Enterprise Entrepreneurship Development (SE2D)
    • SE2D Growth
    • SE2D Startup

Executive Director Edward LaPorté

Edward (Eddie) LaPorté was born in New York City and has lived in New Brunswick, New Jersey for over 30 years, where he was raised and educated. His mother was born In Cuba and his Father in Puerto Rico. He has two sons. Kyle LaPorte, Graduated from Rutgers University in May 2020, and Angel LaPorte is currently attending University of New Haven on a football scholarship. He is the Executive Director of the NJ Office of Faith Based Initiatives in the Department of State where he has been leading its efforts for the past 20 years.

Eddie is an alumnus of both Rutgers University and Kean University. Mr. LaPorte is a dedicated bilingual professional; he has vast experience in designing, developing, promoting and launching approaches that address the needs of communities that are socially and economically disenfranchised. His experience in community development, training and technical assistance, program design and evaluation and impact assessment were enhanced while working for various agencies and non-profit organizations.

Eddie is also an adjunct professor for the Rutgers Business School where he teaches social entrepreneurship. He has also taught at Kean University and Seton Hall.


Program Officer Luisa Soto

Luisa Soto has been with the New Jersey Office of Faith Based Initiatives for . Prior to joining the invaluable team of the Office of Faith based Initiatives, Ms. Soto has worked in the public sector for over 20 years. During her time with the state she has taken on various roles in other state agencies namely, New Jersey Law and Public Safety – A-901 Unit, Department of Community Affairs and with the Center for Hispanic Policy Research and Development, another division within the NJ Department of State.


Advisory Committee Members

Rev. Calvin Mckinney, Chair
Marlene Lao-Collins
Garvester Kelley, Jr
Lee Zandstra
Rabbi Amy Joy Small
Rev. Floyd White III
Rev. Dr. David Ireland, Ph.D.
Tanya Poteat
ex-officio members
Tahesha Way, Secretary of State
Darcella Sessomes
Nina Mosley

Edward LaPorté, Director


to top