Dehmer, longtime former DOE staffer, nominated to be next commissioner of education

Kevin Dehmer, a longtime former employee in the New Jersey Department of Education, was nominated Monday to be the next commissioner of the department, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday.

Dehmer has held several leadership roles at the DOE in the past, including assistant commissioner and chief financial officer, in more than 15 years at the department — directing numerous offices and serving on several state councils, advisory groups and commissions.

Dehmer also briefly served as interim commissioner in 2018 and 2020.

He succeeds Angelica Allen-McMillan, who announced her retirement after three years in the position.

Murphy was obviously thrilled to make the announcement.

“Ensuring that New Jersey’s schools are ready to meet the ever-changing and evolving needs of our communities is crucial,” he said. “Nobody is better prepared to meet this charge than Kevin, who has spent more than 15 years at the New Jersey Department of Education, including two stints as interim commissioner.

“His wealth of experience in education policy and proven commitment to improving educational outcomes for all New Jersey students will make him an indispensable asset.”

Dehmer said he’s eager to get started.

“It is an incredible honor to be selected to serve as the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education,” he said. “Thank you, Gov. Murphy, for the opportunity to continue advancing our shared mission of uplifting our best-in-the-nation public schools to ensure all students have the opportunity to succeed.

“I look forward to reprising my role as commissioner in a more permanent capacity and getting to work on behalf of our students, educators and our school communities.”

Since 2022, Dehmer has served as executive director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, where he led a group of researchers focused on strategies that enhance workers’ skills and employability through education and training programs.