CAIR-NJ Offers Condolences on Passing of New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Y. Oliver, the First Black Woman to be Speaker of the General Assembly    

(NEWARK, NJ, 08/01/2023) — The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today offered condolences on the passing of New Jersey Lieutenant Governor, Sheila Y. Oliver.   

Oliver died at age 71 after she was hospitalized this week for an undisclosed medical issue, her family and the Murphy administration announced on Tuesday.   

SEE: Statement from Gov. Murphy on the Passing of Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver    

Oliver served as the state’s lieutenant governor since 2018. She concurrently served as the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, where she led efforts to strengthen and expand initiatives for fair and affordable housing, community revitalization, homelessness prevention, and local government services that support New Jersey’s 565 municipalities.     

In 2010, she became the first Black woman in state history to serve as Assembly Speaker, and just the second in the nation’s history to lead a state legislative house.    

In 2021, Oliver was reelected to serve a second term in office as Lieutenant Governor.   

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said:   

“I extend my deepest condolences to the Lieutenant Governor’s loved ones and to the Murphy administration. I wish them peace during their grieving period.”    

In a statement, CAIR-NJ Government Affairs Manager Madina P. Ouedraogo said:   

“I offer my sincere condolences to the late Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey Sheila Y. Oliver’s family, friends, and the entire Murphy Administration.    

“The Lieutenant Governor’s legacy and impact as the first Black woman to be Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly and the second Black woman to lead any state legislature will live on.”   

Senate President Nicholas P. Scutari (LD-22), a fellow Democrat, has assumed the duties of Acting Governor in Governor Murphy’s absence and in light of Oliver’s passing. No public events are currently on his schedule. 


CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims     


CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Communications Manager Dina Sayedahmed,, 551-221-5592