Sheila Y. Oliver is the lieutenant governor of New Jersey following her victory alongside Governor Phil Murphy (D) in the 2017 gubernatorial election. Oliver took the oath of office as New Jersey’s 2nd Lieutenant Governor on January 16, 2018. She is the first woman of color to serve in statewide elected office in New Jersey history and in 2018 she was only the 3rd Black woman to become Lieutenant Governor in our nation’s history. In addition to her role as lieutenant governor, Oliver serves as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.
Known as a tireless advocate for social justice, economic equality and healthy and safe communities, Sheila has taken on the NRA to advocate for common sense gun safety measures and overridden Governor Christie’s vetoes to defund Planned Parenthood. As Speaker, Sheila signed off on the Assembly’s Transportation committee’s subpoena power that led to the uncovering of the now infamous “Bridgegate” scandal that ultimately sent several members of Governor Christie’s administration to prison.
Oliver previously served in the New Jersey General Assembly, representing District 34 from 2004 to 2018. From 2010 to 2014, she served as the 169th Speaker of the New Jersey Assembly, the third most powerful elected official in the state. Sheila was New Jersey’s first African American woman to serve as New Jersey Assembly Speaker and only the second Black woman in U.S. history to lead a legislative house, following now Congresswoman Karen Bass who served as Speaker of the California State Assembly.