Lourdes M. Leon, a lifelong resident of Elizabeth, was elected to office in 2020, and is currently serving her first term as a County Commissioner. She is the first Hispanic woman elected to the Board of County Commissioners. Leon is a community activist and an award-winning educator and administrator, and has served more than 27 years in the Elizabeth School district.
Born in Cuba, she immigrated to Elizabeth in 1971 with her parents. During the course of her career in the Elizabeth School District, she worked her way up from a teacher’s aide to Vice Principal, and finally, Principal of the Donald Stewart Early Childhood Center, which she helped open in 2003.
In 2004-2005, Leon was the Recipient of The Donald Stewart “Strive for Excellence” Educator’s Award in recognition of outstanding performance as an educator.
Leon retired in 2013 from the Elizabeth School District, and was appointed to the City of Elizabeth Mayor’s Community Development Advisory Committee. She has served as President of the Committee since 2017.
In 2021, Commissioner Leon served as a member of several committees, including the Policy & Administrative Code Committee, the Open Space Committee and the Public Safety/Homeland Security Committee. As a member of the Public Safety Committee, she helped oversee the County’s COVID-19 efforts for testing, vaccinations and food distributions. These efforts resulted in the administration of hundreds of thousands of tests and vaccines as well the distribution of over 10 million meals.
Also during her first year as a Union County Commissioner, Leon served as liaison to the Advisory Council on Aging, the Senior Citizen & Disabled Resident Transportation Board, the Meadowlink/EZ Ride Advisory Board and is the alternate Commissioner Liaison to the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority. In addition, Commissioner Leon maintains her links to her education background by liaising with Union County College as the Commissioner liaison to the UCC Board of Estimates.
Leon is a member of the Snyder Academy Advisory Committee and is also Vice President of “Elizabeth Strong” a Non-Profit Charity Organization created in 2018 to aid citizens of Elizabeth. Commissioner Leon is an active member of the Non-Profit, Hispanos Unidos.
Leon has also worked as a Second Language instructor to 25-30 adult students with different language levels at the Verizon – Benchmark Hotels Corporation.
Commissioner Leon has a Master’s of Arts in Educational Administration, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Kean University, and has 30 additional credits in Educational Leadership courses from Walden University and Marygrove College.