Shadaya Bennett

Posted on January 29, 2024

Shadaya Bennett is a young professional from New Jersey who has garnered acclaim and respect or her work in the State Legislature. She gained foundational experience in public policy research at the Research Alliance for New York City Schools at NYU before pursuing a career in politics in her home state. Her work in the political arena began in the 29th Legislative District.

Shadaya is the former Chief of Staff to Assemblywoman Shanique Speight. In that position, she was instrumental in the development and expansion of the Assemblywoman’s legislative portfolio. She worked on a vast range of legislative initiatives, including policies that impact maternal health, the criminal justice system, victims of crime, human trafficking prevention, and employment access for individuals with disabilities.

Following her tenure in the Assembly, Shadaya became Director of Policy in the office of Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz within the New Jersey Senate where she managed legislative and state budget matters. She was instrumental in the progression of policies aimed at enhancing childcare delivery and accessibility including the recently enacted “Thriving by Three” grant program. Working alongside the Majority Leader, Shadaya engaged stakeholders to assess and negotiate effective policy and funding provisions which directly impact state residents.

Shadaya eventually took her legislative experience into the healthcare sector, assuming the Director of Government Relations for the New Jersey Hospital Association. In this capacity, she elevated the interests of New Jersey hospitals to stakeholders in Trenton.

Shadaya is a first-generation college graduate who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Temple University where she was a scholarship earning athlete. She also has a graduate degree in Public Administration from Kean University. She is a 2022 graduate of the Leadership Newark Public Policy Fellowship Program. She was recently recognized on New Jersey’s 2023 Women’s Power List and has been listed as one of InsiderNJ’s “Millennials to Watch.’