Contact: Arthur Gajarsa, Chair


The Italian American Democratic Leadership Council (IADLC), the national voice of Italian Americans in the Democratic Party, announced their endorsement of Joseph Torsella as State Treasurer for Pennsylvania.

Ambassador (Ret.) Joseph M. Torsella is a successful civic leader who will bring efficiency and vision as Pennsylvania's next State Treasurer.  

From serving as an US Representative to the United Nations to leading the development of the internationally acclaimed National Constitution Center so effectively that the Philadelphia Inquirer declared him “a modern-day founding father,” Joe Torsella has always valued the need for innovation and new ideas in public service.

A second-generation Italian American, Joe’s paternal grandfather immigrated to the US from the village of Leporano, outside of Taranto in the Puglia region. He is a recipient of the Filippo Mazzei William Paca Award from UNICO, and, in 2013, Joe was honored by the Puglia Center of America with the Puglia’s Italy Award of Excellence in America. If elected, Joe would be the first Italian American to serve as Pennsylvania State Treasurer in the office’s more than 300-year existence.

From 2011 to 2014, Joe was US Ambassador to the UN for Management and Reform. He was the architect and chief public spokesperson for the Obama Administration’s UN reform plans released in 2012, and was the United States government’s lead fiscal watchdog at the UN, from its $36 billion in annual budgets to its $41 billion pension fund to its $2 billion headquarters renovation project.

Prior to his service as a UN Ambassador, Joe served as Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. In that role, Joe opened the board’s workings to the public – holding board meetings outside of Harrisburg for the first time in decades – and led the board to set forth an agenda around high school reform, teacher quality, healthy and safe schools, and college affordability. The Board’s hearings and proposals on making higher education more affordable won national notice and sparked legislative action in Pennsylvania.

From 1997 to 2003, Joe was the founding President and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, a non-profit museum and education center dedicated to explaining and celebrating American ideas and ideals. As the driving force behind the concept, construction, and opening of the $200 million facility on Independence Mall, Joe led the Constitution Center to international acclaim, financial stability, and an exceptional institutional reputation.

Between 1992 and 1993, Joe served as Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning in Philadelphia under then-Mayor Ed Rendell. He helped devise initiatives that helped resolve a $1.25 billion cumulative deficit. The New York Times hailed this nationally-acclaimed financial recovery as “the most stunning turnaround” in American municipal history. In addition to his career in government, Joe has served in a variety of high profile civic posts. In 2005, he co-chaired the Greater Philadelphia bid for the 2016 Olympic Games. 

Raised in Berwick, PA, Joe graduated from Wyoming Seminary high school. After graduating with honors from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Economics and History, Joe studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He lives with his wife, Carolyn P. Short, in Flourtown, Pennsylvania; they have four children. A former successful small business owner, he serves on several corporate boards, and he served as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Public Policy at Drexel University.

About the Italian American Democratic Leadership Council 

For almost thirty years, the Italian American Democratic Leadership Council has been the national voice of Italian Americans in the Democratic Party -- the national political action committee supporting candidates for Congress and major statewide offices, reaching out to Italian American voters for their presidential candidates, and promoting the appointment of Italian Americans at the national level. To learn more about the IADLC visit

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