NJEA hires Murphy administration official Cornavaca as director of politics and policy

Gov. Phil Murphy’s deputy chief of staff, Deborah Cornavaca, will step away June 1 to become the new director of government relations – politics and policy for the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest public employee union.

“For the past four years, Deb Cornavaca has served as an integral member of my senior team, leading our outreach efforts to houses of worship, unions, advocacy groups and community leaders, among others,” Murphy said in a statement released by the NJEA.

Cornavaca’s current responsibilities include working with labor unions and advocacy organizations, along with a wide portfolio of policy issues. She previously worked at NJEA as a lobbyist and member organizer.

NJEA Executive Director Steve Swetsky highlighted Cornavaca’s unique qualifications for the position.

“Deborah brings a deep knowledge of both state government and of the full range of policy issues that are most important to New Jersey’s public school employees,” Swetsky said. “Her proven ability to build effective policy-based coalitions, combined with her understanding of NJEA’s mission, makes her uniquely qualified to take on this challenge.”

Cornavaca expressed her excitement at the new opportunity.

“I’m honored to have the chance once again to work alongside New Jersey’s public school employees,” Cornavaca said. “I look forward to supporting NJEA’s effort to build and sustain public schools that meet the needs of every New Jersey student and family. I thank Gov. Murphy for the trust he placed in me to represent the administration in communities across New Jersey. I look forward to advocating for the same values in this new role.”