Marlene Caride, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, is departing Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration to become a judge of the New Jersey Superior Court, according to a Wednesday announcement from the Governor’s Office. As of Tuesday, chief of staff Justin Zimmerman became acting commissioner.
Caride was nominated by Murphy on June 1 to serve in Hudson County (Vicinage 6), and confirmed Monday.
Caride joined Murphy’s cabinet on his first day in office on Jan. 16, 2018, following six years of service in the Assembly representing Bergen and Passaic counties. She is the first Hispanic to head the department, where she oversaw New Jersey’s insurance, banking and real estate industries.
During her three terms in the Assembly, she served on the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, the Assembly Appropriations Committee and the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation. She also chaired the Assembly Education Committee and was vice chair of the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee.
“From the start of our administration, Marlene Caride has been a vital part of our team and a leader in advocating the interests of our residents and connecting families to quality, affordable health insurance,” Murphy said. “She has served the state of New Jersey admirably as a member of the Legislature and as commissioner of banking and insurance. We thank her for her service and know she will continue to benefit the great state of New Jersey as a member of the New Jersey Superior Court.”
“Justin Zimmerman has been a steady presence at the Department of Banking and Insurance since the beginning of my administration and has done an excellent job leading his fellow team members throughout his tenure as chief of staff,” Murphy continued. “Justin’s hard work and skill has led to the implementation of crucial policies that have protected and benefited countless residents throughout our state. I thank and commend Justin for his dedication and look forward to his continued leadership of the department in this new role.”
Prior to joining the administration, Zimmerman served as chief of policy and legislation to the New Jersey Senate president pro tempore, where he focused on expanding access to quality affordable health care for New Jerseyans, expansion of voting rights and civil rights. He began his career as a public servant working as a briefing aide to Gov. Jon Corzine and director of legislative and intergovernmental affairs for the New Jersey Department of State.