Jamila H. Winder will be sworn in Wednesday to a seat on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
The East Norristown resident will replace Dr. Val Arkoosh, who was appointed by Gov. Josh Shapiro to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Winder, a Democrat, previously served on the Norristown Area School Board and is chair of the East Norriton Board of Supervisors.
The Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas voted to appoint Winder, after calling for candidates to send in their resumes.
“I am extremely proud to welcome Jamila as our next commissioner, and I look forward to serving alongside her this coming year,” said Kenneth E. Lawrence, Jr., vice chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “I know that Jamila’s ties to our community run deep, and I am confident she will work every day in service to our residents to continue to make Montgomery County one of the best places to live and raise a family.”
Republican Commissioner Joe Gale said, “I called and congratulated Jamila Winder on her appointment to the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. I look forward to helping Ms. Winder get acquainted with her new position by introducing her to the many departments and personnel that the Board of Commissioners oversees.
“I hope that in making their selection to fill the commissioner vacancy, the Common Pleas Judges chose someone who will make Montgomery County government more open and transparent to both me, as the sole Republican on the board, and taxpayers of all political affiliations.
“In the past, the Democrat majority commissioners have made every effort to marginalize my participation by keeping me in the dark about county operations. I am optimistic that will change under this new administration,” said Gale.
Winder did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday. However, she is expected to drop a bid to become county register of wills and run to be elected as a commissioner this year, according to published reports. Lawrence has indicated he will not run again. The county Democratic Committee endorsed state Rep. Tim Briggs (D-King of Prussia) to run as commissioner in his place. Neither Briggs nor Montgomery County Democratic Committee Chairman Jason Salus responded to requests for comment.
Liz Preate Havey, chair of the Montgomery County Republican Committee, said the GOP will endorse its candidates for county offices at a meeting at the end of February.
Winder has worked for various organizations, including Drexel University, Laureate Education, and FullBloom, an online education service for health professionals, where she leads U.S. operations.
Winder said she believes strong communities and quality education are the keys to ensuring future success, according to a county press release. Her belief in the power of high-quality education was instilled into her at an early age by her mother and grandmother, who are both significant advocates of a strong education.
Winder, who will be the first Black woman on the Montgomery County Board, is motivated by “equity, diversity, and commitment to public service,” according to the press release.
She served on the Norristown Area School Board from 2017 to 2020 before being elected to the Board of Supervisors.
Winder is a Norristown Area High School graduate. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree from Eastern University.
Winder lives with her husband and son in East Norriton.