New Jersey Citizen Action names new executive director; Salowe-Kaye transitions to president

Dena Mottola Jaborska has been appointed the new executive director of New Jersey Citizen Action, while Phyllis Salowe-Kaye was appointed president, according to a Wednesday announcement from the coalition.

A Lawrence Township resident, Mottola Jaborska brings 27 years of social justice advocacy experience to her new leadership role. She has worked for NJCA for eight years, serving as the organization’s director of advocacy and organizing and most recently as its associate director. Before joining NJCA, she served as executive director of New Jersey Public Interest Research Group and its spinoff, Environment NJ.

“New Jersey Citizen Action is the state’s most impactful organization fighting for working people,” Mottola Jaborska said. “Our advocacy and direct services have transformed lives, giving working families throughout our state a more even playing field and the opportunities they need to prosper. I am honored to be given the opportunity to build on our incredible success. I look forward to growing our base of support, strengthening our impact in the electoral and advocacy space, and delivering more programs and services to those that need it.”

Mottola Jaborksa said NJCA’s priorities would also include strategic planning around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. This would start with cultivating more diversity among the organization’s staff, its board, membership and its coalitions.

Salowe-Kaye has served as NJCA’s executive director for the past 35 years. In her new senior advisory role as president, she will work on a variety of special projects and initiatives and provide transitional support as NJCA moves into its 40th year.

“Dena will provide effective and impactful leadership for NJCA, and I look forward to working closely with her as she continues to build upon our many achievements over the years,” Salowe-Kaye said. “Dena’s leadership role is the next step in our strategic plan to bring on the next generation of organizers and social services staff, and to continue to strengthen both our policy and service program work.”

“Dena has successfully led some of the toughest political fights against well-financed special interests by combining grassroots people power, coalition-building and strategic messaging,” said David Weiner, NJCA board of directors co-chair. “Her leadership skills and policy and organizing experience make her the best and natural choice to build on NJCA’s many accomplishments and move forward to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

“We are very happy NJCA will continue to benefit from Phyllis’ vast experience and expertise,” said Paulette Eberle, NJCA board of directors co-chair. “She has dedicated her life’s work to the organization and has been a champion for working families for decades. We appreciate all that Phyllis has accomplished and the wide-ranging impact she has had on local, state and national policies and programs.”