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Making History in Bergen County Government

In 2010 Kathleen A. Donovan became the first woman in the history of New Jersey to be elected to serve as county executive of a New Jersey county. She served a four-year term.  

Donovan was elected Bergen County clerk in 1988, making her the first -- and so far, only --woman to serve as in that capacity in the 300-year history of Bergen County, a post she held for 10 years.

Previously she was a part-time public defender in her hometown of Lyndhurst from 1983 to 1988, and represented the 36th Legislative District in the General Assembly from 1986-1988. She was chair of the New Jersey Republican State Committee from June 1989 to February 1990.

In 1994 then N.J. Gov. Christine Todd Whitman appointed Donovan to the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the bi-state agency that governs all New Jersey-New York area ports and airports, and the PATH mass transit system between the two states.

The Port Authority also oversaw New York’s World Trade Center, and she was serving as a commissioner during the September 11 terrorist attacks which destroyed the World Trade Center.

Born in New York and raised in New Jersey, Donovan earned a B.A. in political science cum laude, and received her J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.