Weiss, key Murphy adviser, to be named CEO of Newark Alliance

Veteran finance and policy expert has had strong voice on all major initiatives

Evan Weiss, the highly respected senior adviser for financial and strategic projects for Gov. Phil Murphy, will be announced Thursday morning as the new CEO of the Newark Alliance.

The Newark Alliance, a leading nonprofit dedicated to the ongoing economic revitalization of the state’s largest city, has been looking for a permanent CEO since Aisha Glover left the position last December for a role at Audible. De’Shawn Wright has been serving in the role in an interim basis since.

Weiss will begin his new role Dec. 1.

“I am excited and honored to join the Newark Alliance at this critical time in the city’s trajectory,” Weiss said. “Working collaboratively with our members and board, city leaders and a diverse community of stakeholders, the Newark Alliance will continue to play a key role in delivering on the vision of inclusive economic growth in Newark.”

In his role with the Murphy administration, Weiss managed the statewide deployment of economic and infrastructure components of $10 billion in federal stimulus across state and local governments. He was also responsible for the creation and implementation of New Jersey’s $600 million-plus COVID-19 economic, community and housing recovery programs, which included rent and mortgage assistance, small business aid and the first entrepreneur guaranty program in the United States.

Weiss is credited with being a key adviser to Murphy on the financing of all major infrastructure and affordable housing initiatives. He also led successful efforts to create a funding plan for the Gateway Tunnel and the country’s first purpose-built offshore wind port.

Murphy sung his praises.

“The Newark Alliance is gaining one of the most trusted and gifted economic development minds in the Garden State,” he said. “Evan is a versatile professional who has helped our state develop and execute highly innovative business growth, infrastructure and economic development programs, particularly as we have begun our recovery from the economic ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We wish Evan nothing but the best as he moves forward in his career.”

The hiring was applauded by many key figures in Newark.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said, “His skills and acumen in the areas of economic and business development will be an invaluable asset as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild Newark’s economic vitality.”

And Alliance board Chair Lata Reddy, who also serves as senior vice president of inclusive solutions at Prudential Financial, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Evan as the new CEO at the Newark Alliance. His strong economic background and extensive experience working with the city of Newark and the state of New Jersey will enable him to serve the Newark Alliance, its members and our partners well into the future.”

Before joining the Murphy administration, Weiss served as the founding director of PEL Analytics, a division of the Pennsylvania Economy League, where he helped several states establish Opportunity Zone programs and developed strategic plans and initiatives for major cities, including Philadelphia, Trenton and Scranton.

Weiss also served as a senior analyst with HJA Strategies, where he was integral in the development of the tax and incentive portion of Newark’s bid to become the site of Amazon’s second headquarters. He also was the lead budget and operations consultant at Newark Public Schools during the district’s transition to local control.

Weiss is a 2013 graduate of the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in political science.