Governor-elect Phil Murphy announced Thursday that he has chosen Lieutenant Governor-elect Sheila Oliver to serve as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs. This is the first appointment in his administration.
“From the beginning, I made it clear that I chose Sheila as my running mate to be my partner in Trenton, not just an ally on the campaign trail,” Murphy said. “The Department of Community Affairs is critical for partnerships with local government, economic development, and affordable housing priorities, and the depth and breadth of Sheila’s experience in local, county, and state government makes her an ideal choice as commissioner. By helping our communities move forward, Sheila will be a critical part of our mission to bring a stronger and fairer economy to all of New Jersey.”
Oliver, was first elected to the State Assembly in 2003, a post she will hold until the end of the current legislative session. As lieutenant governor, she will be New Jersey’s first female African-American statewide elected official. She has served as an Essex County Freeholder, an assistant county administrator, and director of the Essex County Department of Economic Development, Training and Employment. She also has local government experience, having served as the director of the office of youth services and special projects in the Newark Mayor’s office of employment and training.
“The people of New Jersey connected with the Murphy-Oliver ticket because of our message of strengthening the economy from the middle class out,” Oliver said. “Nothing is more critical to the future of our state than the future of our communities. I thank Governor-elect Murphy for this honor and for his confidence, and I look forward to working with him to bring real change for the people of New Jersey.”
Murphy met with Gov. Christie today to discuss transition work.
“I greatly appreciate the Governor’s commitment to make this transition efficient and productive. My team is eager to get started, and we’ll do so knowing we have the full cooperation of Governor Christie and his team,” Murphy said.
Murphy and Oliver also met with their transition team director, Jose Lozano, Thursday.
“New Jersey spoke loud and clear Tuesday night: they want a Governor laser-focused on building our economy and creating good paying jobs for the middle class,” Murphy said. “I am 100% focused on making that happen.”
Lozano, a leader in the healthcare industry, has extensive experience with transitions at the state and federal levels, in addition to private sector transitions. He is the first Latino to head a New Jersey Gubernatorial transition.
“Jose Lozano has the leadership and experience to run the kind of transition we’ll need to be able to hit the ground running in January,” Murphy said.