About the Commissioner

Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suárez

Jacquelyn A. Suárez was appointed Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) on May 20, 2024 making her the first Hispanic commissioner to lead the DCA. Suárez is committed to the Department’s ongoing mission to provide residents, local governments, businesses, and community development organizations with financial support, administrative guidance, and technical assistance to help improve the quality of life for New Jersey families.

As Commissioner of one of the State's largest departments, Suárez is responsible for a $1.485 billion operational budget and the administration of federal disaster relief grant funding provided through the Community Development Block Grant, COVID American Rescue Plan, and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. She oversees more than 1000 employees and leads a variety of departmental programs including the divisions of Local Government Services, Housing and Community Resources, Codes and Standards, Fire Safety, Disaster Recovery and Mitigation, and the Offices of Information Privacy and Local Planning Services. Suárez also has oversight of the Department’s affiliate agencies including the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, the Urban Enterprise Zone Authority, the New Jersey Historic Trust, and the Government Records Council.

Suárez continues to serve as the Director of the Division of Local Government Services, a position she has held since 2021, where she provides local governments with technical and financial assistance in several areas, including shared services, purchasing, and management issues. She also oversees the review and approval of all municipal, county, and fire district budgets, works to uphold the financial integrity of local government units, and guides the conduct of local government officials.

As Director of DLGS, Suárez also serves as Chair of the State’s Local Finance Board, a position she has held since January 2021.

Prior to serving as the Director of DLGS, Suárez provided legal advice to Governor Murphy on matters affecting his Administration as an associate counsel in the Governor’s Office. During her time in the Governor’s Office, Suárez advised on pending legislation, statutory responsibilities, litigation, the development of administrative regulations, and various proposals impacting the Governor’s public policy agenda. With a focus on issues related to the Departments of Community Affairs, Human Services, Children and Families, and the Administrative Office of the Courts, Suárez was integral to advancing the Governor’s agenda in these areas and, in particular, to spearheading many of the State’s COVID response policies such as the eviction moratorium. It was Suárez’s proven aptitude and successful track record that gave Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver the confidence to name her as the director of the DLGS.

Before joining the Governor’s Office, Suárez was a legislative liaison at DCA where she acted as the point person for all communication with the State Legislature, drafted bill language, spearheaded the implementation of newly signed legislation, and helped review and advise on various decisions, orders, settlements, and other matters impacting the Department.

Suárez is a New Jersey native who earned her Juris Doctor from Rutgers School of Law in Camden and her bachelor’s degree in communications, legal institutions, economics, and government from American University in Washington D.C. She is a member of both the New Jersey and New York bar associations. She is also a member of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey.


Photo of Commissioner Kimberly K. Holmes

Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suárez