Joshua Kelly

MPA 2019

Graduate Certificate in Public Financial Management

Town Administrator, Town of Bolton, CT


Joshua Steele Kelly is currently the Town Administrator in Bolton, CT.  As Bolton’s CAO, he is responsible for the day-to-day management and administration of the town’s government, including all human resources functions, long-range fiscal planning, policy research and development, and more.

Before his role with the Town of Bolton, Josh received his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College, MA in 2017 with a major in Political Science and dual minors in Public Policy and Sociology. Josh began his work in municipal government in 2015 when he became the youngest member of the Town of Waterford, CT’s government by winning an election as an alternate to the local Zoning Board of Appeals. Soon thereafter, he was appointed to serve as a Conservation Commissioner in town and he won a seat on Waterford’s legislative body, the Representative Town Meeting, in 2017. Josh has also worked for the Office of Congressman Joe Courtney (Constituent Services Intern), the Waterford and East Lyme Boards of Education (Substitute Teacher), Wheaton College (Admissions Intern & Political Science Departmental Assistant), and Suicide Prevention and Crisis Services of Ithaca, NY (Education Intern), among others.

While enrolled in his second year of the MPA program, he completed his Internship and Professional Practice with the Town of Windsor, CT.  Here, he assisted the Town Manager with day-to-day activities and special projects such as bond issuance, policy proposals, the development of the annual budget, and more.  The internship helped affirm for Josh that he wanted to serve in an executive capacity in town government, and it helped him to grow as a future manager and make connections that allowed him to find a dream job soon after graduation in 2019.

He recommends that all students interested in working in town government or other policy-creation and implementation agencies volunteer to serve on local or state boards and commissions during their time in their respective DPP program; it is a great way to learn about what real policy creation looks like on the ground, it helps develop vital skills and knowledge that one may need to know as they pursue a career in policy or governance, and local municipalities are almost always in need of volunteer support from passionate folks just like you.

Joshua Kelly
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