During a career that spanned 32 years, Nina Mitchell Wells, Esq. has been an attorney, educator, public servant and has worked for numerous philanthropic causes.
Appointed by Governor Jon S. Corzine, Nina Mitchell Wells was sworn in as Secretary of the State of New Jersey in January, 2006. As head of the New Jersey Department of State, she is responsible for the Division of Elections, the Division of Travel and Tourism, the Division of Archives and Records Management; the Amistad Commission, the New Jersey Historical Commission; the New Jersey Council on the Arts, The New Jersey Cultural Trust; the New Jersey State Museum; the New Jersey Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission; the New Jersey Commission on American Indian Affairs; the Governor's Office of Volunteerism; AmeriCorps; the Office of Faith Based Initiatives; the New Jersey Israel Commission; and the War Memorial.
Prior to becoming Secretary of State, Ms. Wells was President of the Schering-Plough Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Schering-Plough Corporation, and Vice-President of Public Affairs for Schering-Plough Corporation. She began her legal career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Newark and thereafter practiced corporate law for many years with major corporations including New Jersey Bell Telephone Company, Bell Communications Research, Inc. and the CIT Group. Ms. Wells was also head of the Division of Rate Counsel in the Department of the Public Advocate during the Florio Administration, and also served as a a board memeber of numerous secondary and collegiate institutions, cultural foundations, community organizations and various philanthropic causes, including the Board of Trustees of the Newark Day Center, Saint Barnabuas Health Care System; the NJ Public Broadcasting Authority; the Victoria Foundation; the Women's Board of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center; The Newark Museum, Drumthwacket Foundation, the Montclair Kimberly Academy, Seton Hall Preparatory School; the Advisory Board of Teach for America; the Council of NJ Grantmakers; and the College of St. Elizabeth.
A cum laude graduate of Newton College of the Sacred Heart (now Boston College) with a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts. Secretary Wells also holds a degree from the NYU Stern School of Business, Executive Management Program and was a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. She also received an Honorary Degree from both the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, NJ, and from Drew University in Madison, NJ. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including, but not limited to being named the recipient of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Platinum Award for Leadership in Law, the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Public Sector Advocate of the Year Award, The NAACP’s President Award, the Montclair Art Museum Honoree for Arts Education, the Girl Scout Council of Greater Essex and West Hudson’s Woman of Distinction Award and that organization’s first outstanding philanthropic award, the New Jersey Garden State Bar Association’s Award for outstanding legal, community and philanthropic services and The New Jersey Garden State Bar Association’s Superlative Leadership Award, the Association of Black Women of New Jersey – Women in Business Award and, she was inducted into the New Jersey Business Hall of Fame.