Shanti Narra will become the new deputy director of the Middlesex County Board of Commissioners, becoming the first South Asian American to hold a leadership role in county government.
She is replacing Kenneth Armwood, who died last month at age 46.
The director of the Board of Commissioners is Ronald Rios. Middlesex is among a group of New Jersey counties that do not rotate leadership positions.
Narra is a former North Brunswick councilwoman who was first elected commissioner – the job was then known as a freeholder – in 2016. She is an attorney with the legal Aid Society of New York.
Chanelle McCullum was sworn in on Wednesday to fill Armwood’s seat as a county commissioner. She resigned her Piscataway council seat to take the county post.
County government in Middlesex has become diverse in recent years.
A majority of the seven county commissioners are women, along with all three of the Middlesex constitutional officers: Sheriff Mildred Scott, County Clerk Nancy Pinkin and Surrogate Claribel Cortes. Of the ten countywide elected officials, three are Hispanic, two are Black, and one is Asian American.