Orsen leaving EDA; expected to land with South Jersey Industries

Melissa Orsen. (File photo)

Melissa Orsen has resigned as the CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, ROI-NJ has learned.

Two sources told ROI-NJ that she is expected to be named general counsel for South Jersey Industries. The sources requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak for Orsen or the utility.

“The deal is imminent,” one source said. “I’m just not sure when it will be announced.”

Orsen became head of the EDA on February 2015. Prior to joining the EDA, she was deputy commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, and had served as chief of staff to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, among other government posts.

The move was not unexpected, due the change in political administration with the election of Phil Murphy as governor.

Tim Lizura, the EDA’s president and chief operating officer, will assume Orsen’s duties. It is unclear if Gov. Chris Christie will appoint him, or anyone else, to the top job.

Christie still has 56 days remaining in office. Murphy will get to make his own selection for EDA head after he takes office in January.

Orsen has a law degree from Widener University School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware.