Brookdale Community College congratulates Trustee Natalie S. Watson on her appointment as Superior Court Judge of New Jersey. She was confirmed by the New Jersey Senate on Monday, January eighth, following her nomination by Governor Phil Murphy, and will sit in the Family Court of Monmouth County.

“This is bittersweet for us, because, as a result, she had to step down from the Board of Trustees,” said Board Chair Paul Crupi. “On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees we extend well wishes for her forthcoming role as Judge Watson. We are confident that she will carry forth the same level of dedication, compassion, and enthusiasm to her new position.”

Watson has established herself as a highly accomplished litigation partner over two decades at McCarter & English, one of the state’s oldest law firms. Her expertise lies in advising institutions of higher education on compliance with state and federal laws. Most recently, she has distinguished herself as one of the lead trial attorneys defending companies against claims for natural resource damages arising out of emerging contaminants. Additionally, she has extended her legal expertise by proactively contributing to McCarter & English’s diversity initiatives and actively participating in various professional and legal committees. Her roles include serving as Secretary on the New Jersey Supreme Court’s District VA Ethics Committee and the statewide Diversity Committee of the President of the New Jersey Bar Association.

Her exceptional legal work and community leadership have garnered numerous accolades, including being recognized as a New Leader of the Bar by the New Jersey Law Journal in 2015 and receiving the Tri-State Diversity Council’s 2021 LGBTQ+ Leadership Award.

Watson’s commitment extends beyond her professional endeavors into community service. She has been deeply involved in charitable and educational organizations. In addition to recently serving as a Trustee of Brookdale Community College, she is past president of the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, a former trustee of the Alumnae Association of Bryn Mawr College and serves on the board of the Garden State Equality Action Fund.

“I would like to express the College’s sincere appreciation for Trustee Watson’s commitment to Brookdale Community College and her dedication to the success of our students during her tenure.” stated President David M. Stout.

As a Trustee of Brookdale Community College from September 2021 through December 2023, Watson played a pivotal role in advancing the college’s mission. Her tenure on the Finance & Facilities Committee demonstrated her acumen in financial stewardship, and ability to navigate complex legal frameworks contributing to the successful implementation of the solar project. Additionally, she served on the Governance Committee, where she was committed to developing policies that reinforced legal compliance, promoted institutional excellence, and championed diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“It has been such an honor and privilege to work with you these past few years,” Watson stated after being recognized for her service to the Board of Trustees. “My father served this nation in Vietnam doing troop transport, and my mom did not have the opportunity to go to college. Both drilled into me that the highest, most important thing you can do in society is help foster education, particularly at a place like Brookdale. And so, when I found out from Governor Murphy that I was going to have the honor of serving on this board, it was just such an accomplishment for me. I always knew Brookdale already was the best of the best. My wife had taken classes here, my son, who is only 10, is ready to get into the esports arena as soon as humanly possible. But being on the board gave me an even different perspective, and the amount of care, innovation, and just true dedication, not just to the students of Brookdale, but to the entire Monmouth community, is apparent in everything Dr. Stout does, and everything each of you do. It has been an honor to serve, because I know Monmouth County, and indeed our state and country, are in a better place for Brookdale and its students, faculty, and staff.”

Brookdale Community College is committed to providing accessible, affordable, and quality education to the community. The college values diversity, equity, and inclusion, and acknowledges the contributions of individuals like Judge Natalie S. Watson.