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Douglass Residential College

Alumna Spotlight – Yolanda Ciccone DC'76

Middlesex County has been the backdrop for much of the impressive life and career of Yolanda Ciccone DC’76—as a current resident of Metuchen, NJ, a student at Douglass College, and most recently, a critical part of the county’s government. During the summer, Prosecutor Ciccone made New Jersey state history by becoming the first woman to be appointed Middlesex County Prosecutor. Governor Phil Murphy nominated her for the position in early June, and she was soon after confirmed by the State Senate. Ciccone will serve a term of five years in the position.

“I’m honored to be appointed to the position of Middlesex County Prosecutor,” said Ciccone. “And glad to once again be serving the people of the county.”

Ciccone’s newest appointment is her latest entry on a long resume of civil service in the region. As a former assistant prosecutor in the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office for ten years, a superior court judge in Middlesex County appointed by Governor Jim Florio, and later an assignment judge in Somerset County, she has experience in multiple aspects of the legal system in the state. In turn, she brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to Middlesex County.

With her deep perspective and varied experience in issues facing the county, Ciccone is attuned to the ways in which her work critically impacts the lives of many in the area.

“As the county prosecutor, I play a role in aiding those who have been victimized around Middlesex County,” she said. “I also help guide and train law enforcement in making informed decisions that will help keep everyone in the community safe. Knowing that my work contributes to our area is very meaningful.”

While she began her official public service to the county as an assistant prosecutor in 1981, her ties to the region stem back even further—to her time as an undergraduate at Douglass College. For Ciccone, Douglass was a place that championed ambitious students. The support of professors, staff, and friends at the College empowered her to succeed despite barriers faced by women in the field.

“Douglass gave us the freedom to explore all different interests,” she said. “There were no limitations on what we could do or accomplish simply because of gender. I’m very grateful to have had my undergraduate education there.”      

While at the College, she worked hard to take advantage of opportunities afforded to her in the field of public policy and law. After graduation, Ciccone went on to earn her Juris Doctor from Seton Hall Law School. Many Douglass students with similar interests are following in her footsteps, joining programs such as the Public Leadership Education Network for women in public policy, attending BOLD Center workshops on entering legal professions, and joining student organization groups advocating for various policy issues. 

“My advice for students going into law and public policy, or really any field, is to embrace opportunity,” she said. “Work hard, search diligently for internships, and make genuine connections.”

The College congratulates Prosecutor Ciccone on her historic appointment and is grateful for her sustained service to our home county.