Dorothy Donnelly served as an assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division of the District of New Jersey from 1986 until 2008, where she litigated and counseled government agencies regarding contract, employment discrimination, tort, environmental, habeas corpus and bankruptcy cases.
She gained extensive experience regarding federal procurement issues beginning with her service in the Quartermaster Corps of the Army and continuing as a reservist. From 1984 to 2005, Donnelly also served as staff judge advocate for the New Jersey National Guard, where she advised senior commanders on legal issues and reviewed inspector general investigations for legal sufficiency. She retired from the National Guard in April 2005 and was awarded the Legion of Merit.
From 1981 to 1986, Donnelly served as a deputy attorney general in the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, where she represented the state and its agencies in civil matters. She also served during that time as the interim director of the State Ethics Commission. Donnelly earned her B.A. from the University of Wyoming and her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law. Donnelly resides in Hamilton with her husband. She has one son.