Eagleton Faculty, Staff and Visiting Associates
Caroline Casagrande is a life-long public servant, from her earliest years as an intern in the new government of South Africa to her service in the U.S. State Department to her eight years in the NJ Legislature. Casagrande currently serves as the special advisor to the assistant secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). In that capacity, she provides senior- level advice to the Assistant Secretary on the formulation of public diplomacy programming to support the National Security Strategy. She has led new initiatives on a broad range of educational and cultural exchange programming to support global women’s economic empowerment, religious freedom and countering state-sponsored disinformation.
Casagrande served in the New Jersey General Assembly representing the 11th and 12th Legislative Districts from 2008 to 2016. She is the youngest woman Legislator ever elected, and a member of the first all-female delegation to represent a New Jersey Legislative District. While in the Assembly, Casagrande held several leadership positions eventually rising to Assistant Republican Leader of the Republican Caucus in 2014. Casagrande was a partner with the law firm of Menna, Supko and Casagrande in Shrewsbury, NJ. She has served as municipal attorney to Manalapan Township and special counsel to Fair Haven. She was an Associate with the firm of Cleary, Alfieri, Jones and Hoyle for six years. After graduating from law school, she clerked for New Jersey Superior Court Judge Robert O’Hagan. Casagrande served as Director of the Young Women’s Leadership Institute from 2010- 2016, which she developed to expose high school seniors to careers in public service.
In 2015, Casagrande had a fellowship at the East-West Center in Hawaii and traveled to India as part of a delegation of young parliamentarians from the United States and Asia. Casagrande served as a Republican Commissioner on the New Jersey Redistricting Commission, which was charged with redrawing the lines of the State’s congressional districts. She also served as a Trustee of the New Jersey Council of the Humanities from 2016 through 2018. Casagrande was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, and grew up in nearby Spring Lake. She earned a B.S. degree from Pennsylvania State University with a major in political science, and a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law–Camden. Casagrande is a resident of Arlington, Virginia with her husband, Stephen Chance, and sons, Harrison and Theodore, daughter Margot and dog Thatcher.