Executive Director

Margaret Nordstrom has more than 20 years of public service experience in Northern New Jersey. She joined the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council staff in June 2012 with a broad background in municipal and county government and particular expertise in budget and personnel administration, environmental protection, and economic development.

Prior to joining the Highlands Council staff, Margaret worked for 12 years as a Morris County Freeholder. Among other accomplishments during this time, she initiated the Morris County Water Balance Study in conjunction with the Morris County Planning Department, and developed the county’s strategic economic planning process. Margaret served as Freeholder Director from 2006 through 2008; Deputy Director in 2004 and 2005; and was Chair of the Budget Subcommittee from 2005 through 2012.

As a member of the Washington Township (Morris) Committee between 1991 and 2002, Margaret was responsible for a significant land preservation project that involved the Township’s acquisition of development rights for the 800-acre Scott Farm and transfer of those rights to the State Farmland Preservation program. The effort was the first of its kind nationally. Also as part of the Township Committee, Margaret authored a plan to meet the Township’s COAH obligations, and developed programs and ordinances protecting the Township’s environmental resources such as waterways, steep slopes, ridgelines, and scenic vistas.

Margaret was recognized in 2012 by the Schiff Natural Lands Trust for her contributions to the preservation of natural resources and natural areas in Morris County. She is also the recipient of the Morris 2000 Municipal Award for development of Washington Township’s affordable housing plan; was named Environmentalist of the Year in 1995 by the South Branch of the Raritan Watershed Association; and has been recognized by the Highlands Coalition for her efforts to protect the Highlands Region. She has been a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at The Graduate School of Rutgers since 2002; a board member of the New Jersey Historic Sites Council from 1996 to 2012 and Supervisor of the Morris County Soil Conservation District from 2009 to 2012.

Margaret earned her Master’s in Political Science from Rutgers University and also holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science/International Relations from Swarthmore College. She completed post-graduate courses in business administration at Fairleigh Dickenson University.