“The overriding responsibility of government is to serve the people it represents...”
- Leighton Newlin
Experience that matters
Newlin retired in March 2020, after almost three decades as Director of Special Services, at a Residential Community Release Program in Newark. The program, which guided residents in the post-incarceration reintegration process, provided education and job training as well as counseling focused on changing criminal and addictive behavior.
As Director, he was responsible for all aspects of administration and communication as well as managing a Community Advisory Board, comprised of a network of community partners in the areas of labor, education, human, and social services in order to ensure maximum reentry support. The program provided a blueprint of hope for individuals faced with life's difficult and demanding challenges.
Prior to working in re-entry support services, Newlin spent close to a decade as a small business owner.
In 1982, with support from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Newlin opened a boutique hat and accessories shop, “From the Neck Up,” on Charles Street, in the historic Beacon Hill section of Boston. Two years later, he opened a second location in Harvard Square, and continued as owner/manager of both sites for the rest of the 80s.
Fluent in retail sales and boutique operations, Newlin went on to become Reebok International’s first Concept Store Manager, responsible for opening and staffing stores in Boston, Santa Monica, and New York City from 1990 to 1995.
Leadership that makes a difference
Newlin is well known throughout Princeton for his civic involvement and community contributions over the last several decades. He has served on the Princeton Housing Authority Board of Commissioners over the past 24 years, 19 years as Chair.
Newlin is co-chair of the Witherspoon Jackson Neighborhood Association, a grassroots organization founded by former Township Mayor James Floyd, and also serves on the boards of the Witherspoon Jackson Historic and Cultural Society, and The Paul Robeson House.
From 2014-2016 Newlin was part a local group that worked successfully to have the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood designated as Princeton’s 20th Historic District, and in 2019 he organized and mobilized a diverse group of community minded individuals to launch the first annual “Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association Welcome Weekend.”