Judge Harriet E. Derman was the first woman to serve as a judge, a state assemblywoman, and an executive branch commissioner.
A graduate of New York University and Seton Hall University School of Law, Judge Derman worked as an attorney in private practice until 1994.
From 1992 to 1994, she served as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly representing the 18th district, filling the role of majority whip in 1994.
In 1994, she was named commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs by Gov. Christie Whitman. She led the department until 1996, when she was named Gov. Whitman’s chief counsel. She later served as the governor’s chief of staff.
Appointed to the bench by Gov. Whitman in 1998, Judge Derman sat in the civil and family divisions in Middlesex County and was named presiding judge of the civil division in 2003.
In 2006, she was named presiding judge of the general equity part.
Judge Derman retired in 2009.