Deborah Elaine Collins, Esq. is the Director of Small Business Development and Affirmative Action for the County of Essex, New Jersey. A Labor and Employment lawyer by background and training, Ms. Collins worked in corporate America and on Wall Street for 15 years prior to entering County government in New Jersey. This was not her first foray into the public sector. Earlier in her career, she was a litigator in the General Counsel’s office of the New York City Transit Authority where she specialized in the defense of employment discrimination cases. It was at the NYC Transit Authority where she later served a stint as Deputy Assistant Vice President of Affirmative Action and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Programs. Ms. Collins ended her career at the NYC Transit Authority as the first Special Counsel to William Bratton, then Chief of Transit Police, specializing in employment discrimination and affirmative action matters.

Ms. Collins has served as a consultant to the National Football League, Scholastic, Inc., Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, and a host of other entities in government and the corporate sectors.


Deborah Collins received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from New York University. She received her Master of Arts degree in Spanish and Spanish American Literature from the Instituto de Cultura Hispanica under the auspices of NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Science in Madrid, Spain. After a brief career in academia teaching Spanish at the college level, she attended Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey where she received the degree of Juris Doctor.

Since 2014, Ms. Collins taught Human Resources Administration in the graduate program of the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University.

Deborah Collins is the recipient of several awards including the 2012 Trailblazer Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women; 2011 Leadership Award from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; and the 2009 Achievement Award from the Caribbean American Business Association. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the Bibliophiles, Inc. the oldest, continuously operating, incorporated African American book club in the United States.