Commissioner Angela Garretson has over 17 years of government experience, having served as a school board member, council woman at large, and Mayor of Hillside. She is serving in her second term on the Union County Board of Commissioners and was instrumental in changing the title of Freeholder to Commissioner statewide, commencing in 2021.
Commissioner Garretson is a long-time advocate for citizen engagement, economic stability, public safety, social justice, health and education through intentional diversity, equity and inclusion. She has served on Board of Commissioners committees and as liaison to advisory boards, including the Advisory Board on the Status of Minorities. Dedicated to building coalitions statewide, Garretson is the Board of Commissioners designee to the New Jersey Association of Counties, where she recently co-founded the NJAC Black Caucus.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Garretson worked with colleagues to create an innovative emergency food distribution project for municipalities and non-profit organizations involving the United Way of Greater Union County and Amazon. Her outreach efforts as Chair of the Public Safety Committee included initiating the “Mask-Up Union County” drive and other policies to assist in the safe re-opening of businesses and government, and her focus on quality of life issues has resulted in the use of state-of-the-art GIS mapping of county parks and properties in support of capital improvement projects, among other notable contributions.
Commissioner Garretson began her professional career at the Rutgers University Eagleton Institute of Politics, and has served as a Legislative Aide in the New Jersey General Assembly. Currently, she is the Chief External Affairs Officer in the Office of the President of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where she is responsible for maintaining local, state and federal engagement in the University’s global research and development. Garretson presided over landmark studies that reported the school’s $2.8 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey. Her skill in corporate relations resulted in NJIT being chosen as the site of the Amazon Alexa, Voice International Summit which introduced new global technology. Garretson was recognized by industry publications as a Top 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ and selected as an Influencer of Color by ROI.
Commissioner Garretson graduated from Montclair Kimberley Academy. She obtained a B.S. from Syracuse University and completed her M.P.A. with honors from Rutgers. She is a passionate executive, servant and Ph.D. candidate pursuing a joint degree from Rutgers and NJIT, and she is a member of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc for educators. She and her family reside in Hillside.