With eye to startups, Murphy officially names EDA pick

File photo NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan.

Gov. Phil Murphy made it official Thursday afternoon, announcing that Tim Sullivan is his pick to serve as CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

ROI-NJ first reported the selection of Sullivan on Sunday.

Sullivan currently serves as deputy commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and is former chief of staff to New York City’s deputy mayor for economic development under Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In a release announcing the move, Murphy asked the EDA board to take up the matter at its next meeting.

He and Sullivan also both reiterated one of the governor’s top campaign themes in regard to the state’s economy: a desire to build it through small business startups, notably those in the technology sector.

“Economic development is not a one-note symphony of lavish tax breaks, but a multifaceted effort to leverage everything we have to offer,” Murphy said. “From lifting up small businesses to growing the number of technology incubators where tomorrow’s innovators are being born, we need a new culture at EDA.

“I am asking Tim use his wealth of experience to help grow and strengthen our economy, and make New Jersey an even better place for businesses to call home.”

Sullivan echoed Murphy’s thoughts.

“New Jersey has tremendous assets and opportunities in front of it, and I look forward to working with the team at EDA and our partners throughout state government to help create jobs and economic opportunity in every corner of the state,” he said in the release.

“In particular, I am eager to expand EDA’s focus on the small business and startup sectors of the economy that will be the drivers of long-term, sustainable job and economic growth, as well as partnering with municipal leaders to strengthen New Jersey’s cities and downtowns to make them even stronger magnets for talent and private sector investment.”

While Sullivan’s last two jobs were in New York City and Connecticut, he is a native of New Jersey, having grown up in Bergen County. He graduated from Bergen Catholic High School and Georgetown University.

Sullivan’s selection drew praise from his two previous employers.

“I want to congratulate Gov. Murphy on an outstanding choice to lead his economic development team,” former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in the release. “Tim played a key role on many of the most important development projects during my administration and I am confident he will bring that significant experience and knowledge to his new position in New Jersey.”

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy also was complimentary.

“Tim Sullivan has been an incredible asset to Connecticut and an instrumental member of my team,” Malloy said in the release. “During his tenure in my administration, Tim has spearheaded efforts to revitalize our urban centers. Thanks to his efforts, new, innovative businesses are once again growing, and more communities are thriving. His breadth of knowledge and experience in both the public and private sector has translated into real, tangible results for growing jobs and strengthening our economy.”