Dr. Joel W. Branch moved to Metuchen with his family in 2019 and was elected to the Borough Council in 2021. Dr. Branch enjoys strengthening borough connectedness via diverse enrichment activities and government transparency.

He has helped plan multiple activities, such as the borough’s Juneteenth celebrations, which expand Metuchen’s welcoming and inclusive spirit for residents and visitors. In 2023, such contributions helped the Metuchen Downtown Alliance win the Great American Main Street Award. He has also supported residents’ desires for more social green spaces by helping plan the borough’s Thomas Peterson Park on Main St., which will be the first prominent memorial for the borough’s most famous resident, the first African-American to cast a vote in American History. Dr. Branch is also deeply involved in improving borough communications with residents. He has collaborated with council members and borough administrators to deploy the mobile app Simplicity for simplifying the broadcast of various borough events and alerts. Furthermore, he is leading efforts to modernize the design, accessibility, and utility of the town’s official website.

Joel also enjoys partnering with others to enhance the lifestyle of residents and strengthen the borough’s organization as a whole. He’s collaborated on investigating the feasibility of community composting and educating residents about sustainability. He’s also helping strengthen the coordination between borough administration and committees, councils, and commissions for better planning and smarter use of community resources. Last but not least, Joel still enjoys volunteering throughout the community and helping residents enjoy life.

Joel has a deep professional background in the technology industry, currently specializing in artificial intelligence. He is also a published computer science researcher, contributing innovation to wireless networking, enterprise application management, and data analytics. Beyond his technical work, Joel is dedicated to diversifying the field of computing. Joel enjoys drawing from his experiences in industry and volunteerism to analyze problems from multiple perspectives and help foster creative solutions using unique insights from diverse teams. He is a believer in the potential of local communities to help improve various facets of society on a larger scale. Joel received his B.S. in Computer Science from Howard University and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.