Gov. Murphy announces key appointments in his administration

Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday said current Senior Director for Government Affairs Assad Akhter and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Rob Field will both serve as deputy chiefs of staff, according to an announcement from the Governor’s Office on Friday.

“I am thrilled to announce the promotions of Assad Akhter and Rob Field to serve as deputy chiefs of staff,” Murphy said. “Both Rob and Assad have been indispensable members of my team, ensuring effective communication and collaboration with elected officials at all levels government. I am confident they will continue to be fantastic assets to my administration, as we work to deliver a stronger and fairer New Jersey for every family.”

Akhter currently works alongside legislators, elected officials and stakeholders to advance the governor’s agenda. He previously served as the director of public affairs at University Hospital in Newark, where he was in charge of leading media, marketing and government affairs, including internal and external communications at University Hospital. Prior to his role at University Hospital, he worked at St. Joseph’s Health as the director of community relations. Akhter also worked for U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. for 11 years in both his Washington and New Jersey congressional offices, where he was deputy chief of staff.

Field currently oversees outreach to elected officials at the federal, county and municipal levels across the state. Prior to elevating to the position of director in July 2022, Field served as both an aide and a senior aide in IGA since Murphy took office in January 2018. Prior to joining the administration, Field served as an aide and speechwriter for Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, director of operations for Bonnie Watson Coleman for Congress, field director for the 16th Legislative District Democratic candidates, field organizer for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee and assisted the Pete Buttigieg for Democratic National Committee race.

Also announced were the promotions of Krishna Martes, who will serve as director of the Office of Labor Relations and Stakeholder Engagement, and Rob Matos-Moran, who will serve as director of the Office of Legislative Affairs.

“Throughout their time in my administration, Rob and Krishna have worked to manage stakeholder relationships, connecting our office to people and organizations that are critical to our state,” Murphy said. “I am excited to see them take on these new roles and continue the important work ahead.”

The governor also announced the following promotions and hirings:

  • Athina Fassu-Nehemi will be promoted to senior legislative aide II in the Legislative Affairs Department.
  • Devin Mulroy will be promoted to senior legislative aide in the Legislative Affairs Department.
  • Lance Taylor, former senior appointments aide, will join the Legislative Affairs Department as senior legislative aide.
  • Kenneth Clayton will be promoted to senior aide to the governor in the Outreach Department. Clayton is primary liaison for Faith, African American and Youth Outreach, among other portfolios.
  • Aaron Williams will be promoted to senior aide to the governor in the Outreach Department. Williams is primary liaison for Veterans Outreach and Disability Outreach, among other portfolios.
  • Riya Kamboj joined the Outreach Department in February and is serving as aide to the governor. Kamboj is primary liaison to the Education, Environment and LGBTQIA+ advocacy community, and oversees AAPI and Muslim Community Outreach, among others.
  • Edan Blank will join as aide to the governor in the Legislative Affairs and Outreach departments. Blank will also serve as liaison for Jewish Community Outreach for the Outreach Department.