Joseph J. Seneca was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 6, 1943.  He grew up in Upper Darby and graduated from Upper Darby High School in 1960.

Dr. Seneca went to the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate education, earning membership in Phi Beta Kappa.  He studied economics in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania and received his Ph.D. in 1968.

Dr. Seneca came to Rutgers in 1967 as a junior faculty member in the Economics Department at Rutgers College.  Over the years, he has taught at all levels of instruction, chaired the Economics Department, and published over 150 articles, reports and books on economics, finance, environmental economics and state economic development.  He served on the New Jersey Council of Economic Advisors, holding the position of chair for many years.  From 1991 to 2003, Dr. Seneca served as Rutgers University's Vice President for Academic Affairs.  He is now a University Professor Emeritus.