Sen. Teresa Ruiz

Sen. Teresa Ruiz

Senator M. Teresa Ruiz was elected as a Democrat to the New Jersey Senate in 2007 and re-elected in 2011, 2013 and 2017. She was elected by her colleagues in January to serve as Senate President Pro Tempore, becoming the first Latina to serve in a leadership position in the New Jersey Senate. Senator Ruiz is chair of the Senate Education Committee. She is a founding member of the Robert Treat Academy and also served as a trustee of the Essex County Vocational Technical School. She is vice chair of the Essex County Democratic Party and is deputy chief of staff to Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. She served as an elected delegate at the Democratic National Conventions in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016.

During the 2012 convention, Senator Ruiz joined education advocates from across the country as a panelist on the Democrats For Education Reform-sponsored education town hall. The senator was a 2010 Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellow, one of 24 individuals identified by the program's leadership as America's emerging political leaders with reputations for intellect, thoughtfulness, and a commitment to civil dialogue. She is a 2014 Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellow, part of a program named for former governors Jim Hunt (D-NC) and Tom Kean (R-NJ) designed for elected officials in the nation who have committed themselves to K-12 policy.

Senator Ruiz is also a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School's Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program.

Why You Should Run for Office
Women remain vastly underrepresented at all levels of government, and yet serving in elected office is one of the most important ways to have an impact on the issues you care about. Panelists will share their own experiences running for and serving in office, including their perspectives on the difference women make in all levels of office and their advice for participants seeking to become public leaders in their communities.