Daniel Gonzalez was born and raised in Newark. He was the youngest of five siblings born to parents who came from Puerto Rico seeking a better life for their children. Gonzalez attended Newark Public Schools, including Elliott Street School and Lafayette Street School. He graduated from East Side High School in 1989.
During the summer’s he was an ASPIRANTÉ with Aspira Inc. of New Jersey, a program that provides leadership training, cultural enrichment activities, and community action projects that teach students how to develop their abilities to become effective leaders of their communities.
Gonzalez credits his time as an ASPIRANTÉ with inspiring him to attend college. He continued his education at Rutgers University and during the summers worked as an intern with AT&T. After graduating in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, he joined KPMG Peat Marwick, one of the Big 4 accounting firms. Five years later, he moved into a management consulting position at Price Waterhouse Coopers, also a Big 4 accounting firm.
In 2002, Gonzalez was recruited to work in the administration of then-Mayor Sharpe James as the chief financial officer and director of finance for the City of Newark, becoming the youngest professional in New Jersey to hold that title. In that position, he also served as treasurer of Newark Public Schools, which provided him with a deep understanding of the finances of public education in Newark – knowledge that will prove indispensable as a member of the Board of Education.
Gonzalez moved back to Newark’s in 2008 because of his love for the city. He lives in the North Ward with his wife, Tabatha. His son attends Union County College and his daughter is graduating this year from Rutgers University.
Gonzalez is a member of the board of the Anibal Ramos Jr. Civic Association and previously served as a board member of the United Way of Essex and West Hudson.