Judy Thornton is a Lead Principal Planner for the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council. In this role, Judy works extensively with Highlands communities to assist in local efforts to align municipal and county planning programs with the Highlands Regional Master Plan.

A licensed New Jersey Professional Planner, Judy has worked in planning and zoning for more than 20 years. Among other areas, her experience includes work on municipal master plans, zoning ordinances, historic preservation, open space and recreation planning, affordable housing, and redevelopment area planning and regulation. Her previous employment was with the Town of Westfield in Union County, where she worked as full-time Town Planner. Prior to that appointment, she served as full-time Township Planner for Cedar Grove in Essex County. At the same time, she has maintained her own private consulting practice, taking a variety of work and appearing before land use boards in a host of other New Jersey municipalities. She served on Califon Borough's combined Planning/Zoning Board for 18 years and as Chairwoman of its Affordable Housing Committee for over 10 years.

Judy has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Duke University, an M.S. in Environmental Policy Studies from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and an M.S. in Urban Planning and Policy Development from Rutgers University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.