NJPSA is saddened to learn of the loss of Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who died earlier today following a brief stay in the hospital. Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver was a true pioneer, an honorable leader, and a great advocate for educational initiatives that supported students, having served not only as Speaker of the General Assembly, but also on the Joint Committee on Public Schools and previously on the Board of Education in East Orange School District.
First elected to the General Assembly in 2003, she was elected Speaker in 2010 – the first African-American woman in state history to serve as such, and just the second in the nation’s history to lead a state legislative house. She has chaired the Assembly Human Services Committee, and served on the Labor, Higher Education, Women and Children, Commerce and Economic Development, and Transportation and Independent Authorities committees. She also sat on the Joint Committee on the Public Schools and had previously served as a member of the Board of Education of the East Orange School District. She was also an adjunct professor at Essex County College and Caldwell University and taught courses in Achievement Motivation, Non-Profit Management, and Pre-College Preparation.
Lt. Governor Oliver has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, including the East Orange General Hospital Board of Trustees, the United Way, the Newark Coalition for Neighborhoods, the Newark Collaboration Group, the Rutgers-Newark Educational Opportunity Fund Advisory Council, the Global Women’s Leadership Collaborative of NJ, the Essex County and East Orange Committees on the Status of Women, Programs for Parents, and a number of other community-based entities. She has held memberships in the Women’s Political Caucus of NJ, the NAACP, and the Urban League.
She will be truly missed. We offer our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and everyone in Governor Murphy’s administration.