Morristown, N.J. (April 12, 2017) – Camelia M. Valdes, Passaic County, N.J., prosecutor, will be commencement speaker at College of Saint Elizabeth during ceremonies on Saturday, May 13, 2017.
Valdes became the first Latina county prosecutor in New Jersey when appointed to the position by Gov. Jon S. Corzine in 2009. As the chief law enforcement official in Passaic County, she oversees approximately 185 assistant prosecutors, detectives, victim advocates and support staff, a $20 million office budget and the oversight of 16 municipal police departments, the police departments of William Paterson and Montclair State Universities, and the Passaic County Sheriff's Department. In 2016, she was named the 2016 Latina Lawyer of the Year by the Hispanic National Bar Association.
Valdes is a career prosecutor. She served as a municipal prosecutor in the City of Newark, a deputy attorney general in the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, an assistant governor's counsel to Governor Christine Todd Whitman and Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco, and as an assistant United States attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark.
Valdes' experience has ranged from investigating and prosecuting municipal offenses to complex federal crimes that included human trafficking, health care fraud, financial offenses, and violent crimes. She is extensively involved in criminal law policy, bar associations, and community service work.
Born to Dominican parents in the Bronx and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Valdes is a product of the Newark public schools. She received her undergraduate degree in sociology from Seton Hall University in 1993, her law degree from Rutgers Law School-Newark in 1996 and her LL.M. in trial advocacy from Temple University in May 2001.
As the proud mother of two beautiful autistic girls, Isabela and Elsa, ages 12 and 10, Valdes endeavors to raise awareness about autism.