Women of Excellence – Diane Allen

Lifetime Legacy – Diane Allen


Diane Allen was a teenager, volunteering for missions in Puerto Rico, when she knew she would spend her whole life in service to others. She first ran for office – on the Moorestown Board of Education – at just 21. And while she lost that first election, she went on to win many others. She was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in 1995 and, two years later, took the State Senate seat she’d hold until 2018.

One of her proudest political moments came the year after she retired from the senate, when an equal pay bill she’d worked on tirelessly was finally passed – named the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act.

Allen’s impact on the state hasn’t been limited to her work in the legislature. She worked as a news anchor for KYW, ABC and CBS before starting her own media production company. In more than 30 decades in media, she won eight Emmys and a Peabody, and was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame.

Allen has kicked off her own retirement by starting a political fundraising effort to get more women into politics. The political action committee, called runWOMENserve, has a dual purpose and dual partisanship.

“When you first run for office, there’s so much you don’t know,” Allen says. “We want to open that educational aspect up to women across the country.” In terms of funding, Allen says that’s being provided to New Jersey women – Democrats and Republicans alike – to help them get elected. “We’re trying to find women who will put their constituents and their consciences above their party,” Allen says. “We know women are more collegial, and more naturally willing to stretch across the aisle.” 

Allen saw that collaboration during her years in office. “I am certain,” she says, “that, just because of the broad scope of what I’ve done, I’ve touched every life in New Jersey; hopefully for the better.”

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