State of New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy

Senior Staff

Adam Alonso

Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs

Adam Alonso currently serves as Political Affairs Director for the gubernatorial transition. He is the founder and CEO of the Cratos Group, a Bergen County-based public affairs consulting firm. In this role, Alonso will manage the Governor’s Office public engagement, intergovernmental, and constituent relations divisions, as well as the Office of Appointments. Alonso graduated from Drew University.

Justin Braz

Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs

Justin Braz served as Labor Director for Victory 2017 and was Chief of Staff to Assembly Budget Chairman Gary S. Schaer from 2013 until August 2017. He also was the New Jersey Political Coordinator for 1199 SEIU and Chief of Staff to Assemblywoman Annette Quijano. Braz also is a national board member and a founding member of the New Jersey Chapter of the New Leaders Council, a leadership and professional development organization. He is a graduate of Penn State University.

Kathleen Frangione

Chief Policy Advisor

Kathleen Frangione joins the administration from the Washington, DC, policy and political consultancy the Signal Group, where she is an Executive Vice President. She previously served as Senior Policy Advisor on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee under then-Senator John Kerry, acting as lead staffer on climate change issues. She also was a legislative staffer in Kerry’s Senate office, overseeing domestic and international environment, energy, and natural resources issues. She is a graduate of Harvard College and holds a master’s degree from Yale University.

Parimal Garg

Deputy Chief Counsel

Parimal Garg served as a Senior Policy Advisor during the gubernatorial campaign, helping to formulate the campaign’s substantive positions. Prior to joining the campaign in August 2016, he clerked for New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. He previously worked as an attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in Washington, DC, where his practice focused on antitrust matters, financial investigations, and appellate arguments. Garg received his B.A. from Georgetown University, magna cum laude, and J.D. from Harvard Law School, cum laude.

Mahen Gunaratna

Director of Communications

Mahen Gunaratna served as Deputy Communications Director to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio since January 2017 and previously served as the Mayor’s Research Director and as an aide to his mayoral campaign. In 2016, he served as Florida Communications Director for the Clinton campaign during the general election and as Florida Press Secretary and Connecticut Press Secretary during the presidential primary. In 2012, he worked as New Mexico and Arizona Communications Director for Obama for America, serving as the President’s regional spokesman for the Southwest. Mahen is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Lynn Haynes

Deputy Chief of Staff for Cabinet Affairs & Operations

Lynn Haynes is a partner in the Trenton-based Advocacy & Management Group, which she joined in 2014 after four years as Deputy Executive Director and Chief Counsel for Senate President Steve Sweeney and the Senate Majority Office. She also has served as Assistant Commissioner of Income Security in the New Jersey Department of Labor, and is a former state Deputy Attorney General. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a law degree from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, MN.

Joe Kelley

Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Growth

Joe Kelley previously served as Deputy Campaign Manager and Finance Director for Murphy for Governor. His past experience includes working with numerous progressive candidates and causes, including United States Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), the 2012 Democratic Convention Host Committee, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. In the 2010 election cycle, Joe served was Finance Director to U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). Kelley is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA with a B.A. in American History.

Mary K. E. Maples

Deputy Chief Counsel for Authorities

Mary K. E. Maples currently serves as Senior Counsel in the Authorities Unit. Prior to joining state government, Maples served in various roles at the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC, including Assistant General Counsel, where her broad practice included high-profile congressional investigations and support for counterterrorism litigation teams pursuing military commissions of high value detainees, including the perpetrators of the 9/11 and USS Cole attacks. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a Juris Doctor cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law.

Kate McDonnell

Deputy Chief Counsel

Kate McDonnell currently serves as General Counsel to the Assembly Majority Office, a position she has held for the past eight years. Prior to becoming General Counsel, she served as an Associate General Counsel in the Majority Office, where she worked in a variety of policy areas. McDonnell is a magna cum laude graduate from the University of Notre Dame and holds both a J.D. from the Rutgers School of Law – Camden and a Master’s Degree from Rutgers – New Brunswick’s Bloustein School of Policy and Planning.

Scarlett Rajski

Director of Appointments

Scarlett Rajski works in the Corporate & Regulatory Affairs division at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Prior to joining Horizon, Scarlett was a Project Manager in the Government Affairs Department of Gibbons P.C. and has previously worked in public relations and communications. Scarlett also served as Special Projects Director for U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. She graduated cum laude from Boston University and is pursuing a Master of Public Affairs and Politics at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy of Rutgers University. She also is Vice President of Finance for the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey and is a 2017 Fellow of the New Jersey Chapter of New Leaders Council.

Stephanie Lagos

Chief of Staff to First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy

Stephanie Lagos was a Senior Policy Advisory to the Murphy for Governor campaign, and previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Assemblyman Schaer. She hold a Master’s of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology, Ecology, and Environmental Science from Christopher Newport University. Lagos served over two years in the United States Peace Corps working on Environmental Sustainability and Diplomacy.

Daniel Bryan

Press Secretary and Deputy Communications Director

Daniel Bryan currently serves as Communications Director for Transition2018, Governor-elect Murphy's gubernatorial transition committee. He served the Murphy for Governor campaign as a Senior Advisor for Communications and Political Outreach, a role which included spearheading the campaign's digital outreach operations. Previously, Dan served as Chief of Staff to Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer from 2009 to 2015. From 2015 to 2016, he worked at BeckermanPR, a boutique public relations firm in New Jersey. A graduate of the University of Scranton and Don Bosco Prep, Dan grew up in Ringwood, New Jersey. He currently resides in Hoboken with his wife and daughter.

Pearl Gabel

Digital Director

Pearl Gabel will manage the Governor’s digital operations. She is a multimedia-centered creative professional and producer with over a decade of experience as a visual storyteller. Pearl most recently served as Director of Video for the City government of New York, overseeing the development and execution of video, documentary, and social media projects. She previously served as a freelance video producer and photojournalist for organizations such as NBC News, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, and The New York Times, among others. From 2009 to 2015, Pearl worked as a staff photographer, contributing reporter, and multimedia journalist with the New York Daily News. A native of the Jersey Shore and proud product of New Jersey public schools, Pearl is a graduate of Hampshire College and earned her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Derek Roseman

Chief Speechwriter

Derek Roseman most recently served as communications director for Phil Murphy for Governor. He has been a spokesman for Democratic leadership in both the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly and served as statewide communications director for the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee for each election cycle from 2005 to 2015. He has worked for U.S. Senator Tom Daschle and was a public affairs consultant at the Washington-based firm APCO Worldwide. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the College of New Jersey and a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University.

Liza Acevedo

Deputy Press Secretary

Since 2015, Liza Acevedo has served as Communications Director to Deputy Democratic Leader of the New York State Senate Michael Gianaris, managing the Senator’s communications strategies and serving as spokeswoman. She has interned at the Brooklyn headquarters of Hillary for America, the congressional and district offices of U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke, and the office of the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team. Liza is a graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

Edwin J. Torres

Deputy Digital Director

A visual storyteller and photojournalist, Edwin J. Torres has served as a photographer for the New York City government since 2016. He is a former photojournalist, contributing imagery for publications including the New York Times. In 2015, he served as a Reporting and Photography Fellow for ProPublica, working as lead photographer for a Pulitzer-prize winning series on nuisance abatement in NYC. Edwin is a former editor-at-large for The GroundTruth Project, curating photographic essays on underreported stories, and is a volunteer at the Bronx Documentary Center. He was a Knight CUNYJ Fellow at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and is a graduate of Colby College.

Alyana Alfaro Post

Press Aide

Since 2015, Alyana Alfaro Post has served as a politics reporter for Observer New Jersey, covering local, state, and national politics in the Garden State. She previously served as a freelance journalist and as Specialty Editor for the monthly medical journal Federal Practitioner. She is a former intern for NBC Local Integrated Media and The Village Voice. A resident of Fair Lawn, Alyana received her bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University and a Masters of Arts in Multimedia Journalism from New York University.

Christine Lee

Press Assistant

Christine Lee is a recent graduate of Caldwell University in Psychology with a minor in Business Management. She is a lifelong New Jersey resident.

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