Chief of Staff/Assistant Commissioner
Kellie LeDet is Chief of Staff and Assistant Commissioner for Executive Services at the New Jersey Department of Education. She oversees the Offices of Legal Affairs, Administrative Services, Legislative Affairs, Public Affairs, Constituent Services and Media Relations. Primary among her roles is to support and advance the Commissioner’s vision for the NJDOE – a student focused service agency promoting academic excellence. Ms. LeDet has dedicated her career to public service in a variety of action-oriented, change-based government positions.
Prior to joining the NJDOE, Ms. LeDet was appointed Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by President Barack Obama and SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet in July 2014. In this capacity, she was the first African American woman to direct the SBA’s operations in Region II, encompassing New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In her role there, she had direct oversight and responsibility for the administration of SBA’s financial, international export, disaster relief, government contracting, and entrepreneurial programs that assist nearly three million small businesses, employing more than six million workers in Region II.
Before joining the SBA, Ms. LeDet served for eight years as Deputy Chief of Staff for the office of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). There, she was responsible for working on direct federal appropriations with local, state and county governments. She also served as Senator Menendez’s liaison with organized labor unions, homeland security, law enforcement agencies, fire fighters, and New Jersey’s military installations. Additionally, she provided technical assistance and capacity building to faith-based and community-based organizations.
Education has always held special interest for Ms. LeDet. For several years, she was Managing Director of Diversity, Small Business and Government Affairs at the New Jersey Schools Construction Corporation (NJSCC). Under her leadership, the NJSCC increased small business enterprise by 42%, well beyond its initial goals. Ms. LeDet also served as Director for the Division of Diversity and Emerging Business Markets where she had oversight and direct administration of all aspects of its business opportunity policies for small, minority- and women-owned businesses.
Ms. LeDet began her career with U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ). She also served as Deputy State Director for U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli (D-NJ). She then was appointed Deputy Chief of Management and Operations by Governor James E. McGreevey, where she had oversight of six state agencies - formulating and implementing strategic plans, departmental policies and budgets.
Ms. LeDet attended Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia where she majored in Political Science and Mass Communications with a Public Administration concentration. She and her husband live in Monmouth County.