Eagleton Faculty, Staff and Visiting Associates
B.A. degree in philosophy, Bucknell University
Diane Allen has been known by many titles: corporate President, pilot, sharpshooter, daredevil hang-glider, Emmy award-winning TV News Journalist, Quaker Sunday School teacher, and New Jersey State Senator.
A Jersey Girl, born and bred, Allen was a National Merit Scholar Finalist, who graduated from Moorestown High School as Valedictorian. After then graduating from Bucknell University with a degree in philosophy, she began her 25 year career in the media. She started in local radio in Mt. Holly, NJ, then transitioned to television when she joined New Jersey Network as a reporter. Her beat was initially the State House, before becoming the station’s primary news anchor. During this time, she and her husband competed internationally on kites (hang-gliders), with Diane winning dozens of trophies and titles, including 1973 National Champion.
For most of the next two decades, Allen was a TV news reporter and anchor for NBC in Philadelphia, ABC in Chicago and CBS in Philadelphia. During those years, she also produced documentaries and hosted several talk shows.
After leaving broadcasting, Allen remained in the television business as she took over as President and CEO of VidComm, Inc. She and her staff produced broadcast documentaries for CBS, as well as videos for a variety of other clients. During her years in the media Allen won eight Emmys, a Peabody, three Tellys, and dozens of other regional and national awards.
In November, 1995, Allen was elected to represent the Seventh Legislative District in the New Jersey State Assembly. Two years later she was elected to the NJ State Senate. During her 22 years in the legislature she served on many committees and commissions, including 19 years on the Martin Luther King, Jr Commemorative Commission. She worked hard, some years having more laws passed than any other legislator, always working to shine a light on injustice and unfairness. Last year NJ finally passed an equal pay law, said to be the best in the nation. Because Allen had worked on that law for many years, the legislature and Governor Murphy officially named it the “Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act.”
Her goal was always to make life better for the people of NJ, with special attention to the voiceless, the hopeless, and those whom society treated unfairly. Every resident of the State of New Jersey has been touched by Senator Allen’s legislation and benefited from her service.
In 2014, the Senator was installed as Chair of the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL). She served in that capacity for a two-year term and now is a member of the NFWL Board of Directors and is often invited to speak to legislators around the country, speaking on leadership and sharing legislation she had passed in NJ. In 2017, Senator Allen was selected to serve in the Governing Institute’s Women in Government Leadership Class, as one of the top- 25 women in Government in America.
Allen retired from the Senate one year ago, and now heads runWOMANserve, a political action committee (PAC) that is trying to change the face of government. The PAC supports women newly running for legislative office, regardless of their political affiliations. Allen is also writing a book on why more women must run for office and is speaking around the country on equality in government and the workplace.
Senator Allen continues to reside in NJ with her husband Sam. They have two children and four grandsons.