Department of State
It is fitting that Nina Mitchell Wells, Esq. was sworn in as New Jersey’s 32nd Secretary of State in the Governor’s Office, only a block away from the Trenton War Memorial, for, almost thirty years ago at the War Memorial, Secretary Wells, was admitted into the New Jersey State Bar and began her expansive career as a public servant, educator, philanthropist and lawyer. Charged with the promotion and preservation of the arts, history and culture of the Garden State, Secretary Wells brings a wealth of cultural experience to Trenton. She has pledged to utilized her diverse background to build broad based coalitions, public-private partnerships and creative programs, necessary to advance New Jersey’s vast cultural resources. In 1996, Secretary Wells, received the “100 Most Influential” New Jerseyans Award, and continues to be recognized throughout the state as an innovator, with unwavering determination, personal integrity and the commitment to continue the Department of State’s mission to enrich the quality of life of all New Jersey’s citizens through the arts, history and culture of New Jersey.
In her official capacity, Secretary Wells is responsible for one of the premier departments in New Jersey state government. She oversees the Department of State’s operating agencies consisting of: Archives and Records Management: 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; and the Trenton War Memorial.
Prior to Secretary Wells’ appointment to state service she was most recently, President of the Schering-Plough Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Schering Plough Corporation and the Vice-President of Public Affairs at Schering-Plough Corporation. She began her career as a lawyer and public servant, serving as Assistant Corporation Counsel in the City of Newark’s Law Department specializing in chancery law and serving as the legal advisor to the Newark Central Planning Board and the Newark Real Estate Commission. Secretary Wells’ was tapped by Governor Jim Florio, to head the Division of Rate Counsel for the Department of the Public Advocate. During her tenure as the Rate Counsel she was responsible for challenging all regulated utility rate filings in the State of New Jersey. Additionally, Secretary Wells practiced corporate law for many years with several major corporations including New Jersey Bell Telephone Company, Bell Communications Research, Inc. and The CIT Group.
Secretary Wells continued her commitment to education and the students of New Jersey as Assistant Dean and Director of the Minority Student Program and Financial Aid at Rutgers University Law School. She has also served as a member of the board of trustees on numerous secondary and collegiate institutions, cultural foundations, community support and revitalization organizations and various philanthropic causes.
Secretary Wells and her husband, Ted Wells, Esq. reside in Livingston, NJ and have two grown children, Teresa and Phillip.