Volume 8/Issue 1

  • Governor-Elect Murphy Announces Senior Leadership Team 

Governor-Elect Murphy Announces Senior Leadership Team 

Governor-Elect Phil Murphy unveiled his senior office staff on Tuesday.   The team is comprised of many dedicated individuals who helped the governor achieve his electoral victory along with several seasoned State House veterans.   They will serve the Governor alongside Chief of Staff Pete Cammarano and Chief Counsel Matt Platkin. 

The new team includes:

Adam Alonso, Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs: Adam currently serves as the Political Affairs Director for the gubernatorial transition. In addition to the two offices mentioned above, he will oversee the constituent relations divisions and the Appointments Office.

Justin Braz, Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs: Justin previously served as Labor Director for the Victory 2017 coordinated campaign and was Chief of Staff to Assembly Budget Chairman Gary S. Schaer.

Kathleen Frangione, Chief Policy Advisor: Kathleen joins the administration from the Washington, DC, policy and political consulting firm, the Signal Group, where she is an Executive Vice President. She previously served as a Senior Policy Advisor on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee under then-Senator John Kerry.

Parimal Garg, Deputy Chief Counsel: Parimal served as a Senior Policy Advisor during the gubernatorial campaign. Prior to joining Murphy for Governor, he clerked for New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner and also worked as an attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in Washington, DC.

Mahen Gunaratna, Director of Communications: Mahen served as Deputy Communications Director to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio since January 2017 and previously served as the Mayor’s Research Director and as an aide to his mayoral campaign. In 2016, he was the Florida Communications Director for the Clinton campaign during the general election and the Florida Press Secretary and Connecticut Press Secretary during the presidential primary.  

Lynn Haynes, Deputy Chief of Staff for Cabinet Affairs & Operations: Lynn is a partner in the Trenton-based Advocacy & Management Group.  She previously served for four years as Deputy Executive Director and Chief Counsel for Senate President Steve Sweeney and the Senate Majority Office, was a former Assistant Commissioner of Income Security in the New Jersey Department of Labor, and is a former state Deputy Attorney General. 

Joe Kelley, Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Growth: Joe previously served as Deputy Campaign Manager and Finance Director for Murphy for Governor. His experience includes working for U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), helping to manage the 2012 Democratic Convention Host Committee, and working for NARAL Pro-Choice America. 

Mary K. E. Maples, Deputy Chief Counsel for Authorities: Mary currently serves as a Senior Counsel in the Governor’s Authorities Unit. Prior to joining state government, Maples served in various roles at the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC, including Assistant General Counsel. 

Kate McDonnell, Deputy Chief Counsel: Kate currently serves as General Counsel to the Assembly Majority Office, a position she has held for the past eight years.  

Scarlett Rajski, Director of Appointments: Scarlett works in the Corporate & Regulatory Affairs division at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Prior to joining Horizon, Scarlett was a Project Manager in the Government Affairs Department of Gibbons P.C. She also served as a Special Projects Director for U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. 

Stephanie Lagos, Chief of Staff to First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy: Stephanie was a Senior Policy Advisory to the Murphy for Governor campaign, and previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Assembly Budget Chairman Gary Schaer.