Gross leaving N.J.-Israel Commission for role at EDA involving international trade

Andrew Gross is leaving his role as executive director of the New Jersey-Israel Commission for a position involving international trade at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

Gross, who has been the executive director of the commission since it was restarted in 2019, will start in his role at the EDA next week.

The new position, which was first reported by the New Jersey Globe, will involve many of the same issues Gross has been working on at the commission.

Gov. Phil Murphy has made four trips to Israel since taking office — supported by Choose New Jersey. Increasing business, academic and cultural ties to Israel (including tourism) has been a top priority.

In a note to commission members, Gross said he was proud of the efforts — and achievements — of the commission.

“Since the beginning of the Murphy administration and the restart of the commission, we have seen strong economic growth from Israel, leading to over 1,400 new jobs and nearly half a billion dollars invested in our state,” he wrote. “Additionally, I have been proud to see new programs and partnerships established across science, academic, tourism and culture that will leave a lasting impact on New Jersey for years to come.”

When international economic trips resumed after the pandemic pause, Murphy’s first trip was to Israel.

“From welcoming dignitaries, promoting our state’s tourism, strengthening our economy, building academic partnerships and celebrating our diversity, it is difficult to fully take stock of what was accomplished these past four years,” he said. “We have done this during high and low times, while experiencing challenges and achievements alike.”

Gross thanked Murphy, Secretary of State Tahesha Way, as well as commission co-Chairs Mark Levenson and Karin Elkis.

“It has been the honor of my life to serve in this special role,” he wrote.

Gross had been serving as director of political affairs at the office of the Consulate General of Israel in New York when Murphy hired him to run the commission in 2019.