Kevin O’Dowd, Chief of Staff
Kevin O’Dowd currently serves as Chief of Staff to Governor Chris Christie. Prior to this position, he had served as the Deputy Chief Counsel to Governor Chris Christie since January of 2010. As Deputy Chief Counsel, O'Dowd was Governor Christie's lead negotiator with the New Jersey State Legislature and supervised the day-to-day operations of the Office of Counsel to the Governor.
Prior to joining the Christie Administration, O’Dowd served as the Chief of the Securities and Healthcare Fraud Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. During the seven years he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, O’Dowd prosecuted various crimes ranging from complex healthcare, securities and financial fraud matters to international child pornography distribution, cyber and narcotics prosecutions.
During his time at the United States Department of Justice, O'Dowd received numerous awards and honors from a host of federal law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the United States Secret Service. O'Dowd was twice awarded the prestigious Integrity Award from the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Award for Excellence from the United States President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency.
Before joining the U.S. Attorney's Office in 2003, O’Dowd spent the previous five years serving as a Deputy Attorney General in the Department of Law & Public Safety and an Assistant Counsel in the Office of Counsel to the Governor. O’Dowd received his B.A. from The Catholic University of America and his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law.
Louis C. Goetting, Deputy Chief of Staff
Lou Goetting currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Chris Christie. Prior to this position, he served as the Cabinet Secretary to Governor Chris Christie since January of 2010. In both of these roles, he led efforts on behalf of the Governor to balance the State’s budget, ensure the performance of all Departments and Agencies and advance the Governor’s agenda.
Lou Goetting was the principal and founder of Goetting Ahead, LLC and provided public policy consulting services to both public and private clients. Previously, Goetting was the Executive Vice President of Administration at Brookdale Community College where he lead the administrative operations and information technology of the college.
From 1998 -2002, Goetting served as the Vice President of Administration of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey leading the capital planning initiative of the University while managing the core administrative offices. Goetting was a member of the administration of Governor Whitman from 1994 -1998 serving as Assistant State Treasurer and Deputy State Treasurer. He joined the Whitman Administration as an established expert on municipal government and led the nationally recognized performance audit program. Lou served in municipal government from 1973 – 1994 as Administrator of three New Jersey communities. He has also served as a Commissioner for the Public Employment Relations Commission and as Chair of the NJ Pension and Benefits Review Commission.
Maria Comella, Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Planning
Maria Comella has directed communication strategies specific to varied constituencies as part of a career dedicated to public service and issue advocacy. During college where Comella received her BA in international affairs at The George Washington University, she worked in key positions on Capitol Hill, dealing with both trade and budget issues. From there she held leadership roles on several presidential and gubernatorial campaigns, serving as New Hampshire Communication’s Director for Bush-Cheney 2004 and as Communications Director in 2006 for Iowa gubernatorial candidate, Congressman Jim Nussle.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Comella served as Mayor Rudy Giuliani's deputy Communications Director, managing a 20-person staff, crafting national and regional communication strategies and serving as campaign spokesperson.
Most recently, Comella directed communication efforts for now Governor Chris Christie's campaign in New Jersey. She is also currently pursuing a Masters degree in health care policy at New York University.
Deborah Gramiccioni, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Cabinet Liaison
Deborah Gramiccioni currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Cabinet Liaison after serving as the Director of the Authorities Unit under Governor Chris Christie.
She previously served from June 2008 to January 2010 as the Director of the Division of Criminal Justice for the Office of the Attorney General, Department of Law and Public Safety, where she oversaw criminal investigations and prosecutions brought by the State of New Jersey.
Before she came to work in State government, Gramiccioni served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey from September 1999 to November 2005. In September 2004, Gramiccioni was promoted to the position of Chief of the Commercial Crimes Unit, where she supervised the prosecution of white collar crimes involving financial fraud, identity theft and intellectual property. In November 2005, Gramiccioni was appointed Assistant Chief of the Fraud Section in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where she supervised cases brought nationwide under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Gramiccioni graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 and the University of Virginia School of Law in 1997. After graduation, Gramiccioni worked first as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP and then clerked for the Honorable Alfred J. Lechner, Jr., United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey. She and her husband Christopher have three children, Noah, Layla and Sarabeth.
Bridget Anne Kelly, Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs
Bridget Kelly currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, a role she was named to by Governor Chris Christie in April 2013. Prior to assuming that role, she was Director of Intergovernmental & Legislative Affairs where she oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Christie Administration’s outreach efforts to elected officials at all levels of government, faith-based and community organizations and trade associations. Bridget joined the Christie Administration in 2010 as Director of Legislative Relations where she managed the Administration’s relationship with the 120-member Legislature and their legislative staff.
She first joined state government as a legislative aide to Assemblyman David C. Russo (R- Bergen, Essex, Passaic & Morris), eventually becoming Chief of Staff in 2002. Outside of state government, Bridget has been a member of a number of municipal boards and committees, as well as active in the local and county Republican organizations. She also has served on the Parent Faculty Board at her children’s school.
Bridget is a New Jersey native and graduated from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. She currently lives in Ramsey with her four children.
Charles B. McKenna, Chief Counsel
Charles McKenna currently serves as Chief Counsel to Governor Chris Christie, having previously served as the Director of the New Jersey State Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness since January 2010.
Mr. McKenna came to this position from the United States Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey, where he had served for 18 years. At the time of his appointment, he was the Chief of the Criminal Division, a position in which he directed attorneys responsible with prosecuting federal criminal violations since 2008. He also supervised investigations and interacted with heads of law enforcement-including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, Internal Revenue Service and Department of Defense and was responsible for establishing and administering policy for the Criminal Division, the largest in the US Attorney's Office.
From 2002 until 2008, Mr. McKenna served as Executive Assistant US Attorney under then US Attorney Chris Christie. Here, he had executive oversight for all Criminal and Civil Division investigations as well as administrative responsibilities to ensure efficient operations in the office. He also represented the office on many occasions to law enforcement and private industry groups, lecturing on various aspects of criminal law.
As an Assistant US Attorney, Mr. McKenna successfully prosecuted many cases involving violations of federal criminal laws. He was involved in the investigation into the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, the Southeast Asia Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal, and he successfully prosecuted animal rights extremists. In 2002, he was a recipient of a Director's Award for Superior Performance from the US Department of Justice.
From 1999 to 2002, Mr. McKenna was the US Attorney's Office Liaison to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. From 2002 until leaving the US Attorney's Office, he was the Crisis Management Coordinator for the District of New Jersey.
Mr. McKenna received a J.D. in 1986 from St. John's University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude in 1982 from Fordham University.
A New York City native, Mr. McKenna resides in Essex County.
Paul Matey, Deputy Chief Counsel
Paul Matey most recently served as the Senior Counsel to Governor Christie and Chief Ethics Officer for the Governor’s Office. Among his duties, Mr. Matey supervised the development of legal advice for the Governor and managed significant litigation for the executive branch in collaboration with the Office of the Attorney General.
Beginning in 2005, Mr. Matey served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of New Jersey in the Securities and Health Care Fraud Unit, and the Public Protection Unit. As an Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Matey prosecuted a wide variety of offenses, including domestic and international child pornography networks, child exploitation, and complex white-collar crimes involving investor fraud, securities fraud, healthcare fraud, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In 2009, he received the Director's Award for Superior Performance from the United States Department of Justice.
Prior to his service as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Matey worked as an associate in the Washington, D.C. firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans, and Figel, P.L.L.C., and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert E. Cowen of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Honorable John C. Lifland of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
A native of New Jersey, Mr. Matey received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Scranton in 1993, and earned his Juris Doctorate degree, summa cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2001.
Matthew McDermott, Appointments Director
Matthew P. McDermott serves as Appointments Director to Governor Chris Christie. In this role, he is responsible for identifying, recruiting, placing and guiding nominees for Cabinet level, judicial, prosecutorial, and volunteer authority, board, commission, and task force positions. McDermott previously was Chief of Staff to Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and oversaw the functions of the Office of Lieutenant Governor and the New Jersey Department of State. While there he focused on implementing economic growth and job creation strategies with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the Business Action Center, Choose NJ, cabinet level departments and agencies, as well as business partners across the state.
McDermott returned to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development as Chief of Staff in May 2010 after nine years in the private sector. As Chief of Staff, McDermott was responsible for policy and legislative development, in addition to implementing and enhancing the Department’s community outreach and constituent relations initiatives.
Before joining the Christie Administration, McDermott was the principal at McDermott Public Affairs from 2001 to 2010. He has represented and worked with a broad base of clients that included building and construction trade unions and contractors, the pharmaceutical and medical technology industry, the maritime industry of New York and New Jersey, and non-profit workforce development agencies.
The former Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor, McDermott gained over 13 years of unique public sector experience serving in management and senior management positions in both the Legislative and Executive branches of New Jersey state government from 1990 to 2001. In doing so, he gained national recognition for business services development and outreach programs while at the Department of Labor. McDermott previously served as Director of Communications for the New Jersey Department of the Treasury.
McDermott, a Cranford resident, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Regina Egea, Director of the Authorities Unit
Regina Egea currently serves as the Director of the Authorities Unit under Governor Chris Christie.
Prior to this assignment, Regina was Chief of Staff to the State Treasurer. Her responsibilities included general management of all Treasury operations and she also played a leading role in developing and implementing the historic pension and benefit reforms that Governor Christie signed into law in June 2011.
Before joining state government in February 2010, Egea was a Senior Vice President with AT&T in Bedminster where she led its global sales segment marketing team. Her more than 300-person team, located in offices around the world, supported AT&T’s business sales force by delivering a full range of marketing programs. During her career at AT&T, she also led teams in areas including: business strategy development; product management; core Network Operations; Human Resource leadership; and executive succession planning.
In local government, Egea was elected in 2008 to her first term as a Committee Member in Harding Township (Morris) serving from 2009-2011 including Deputy Mayor in 2010 and 2011. She was re-elected to a second term but resigned in January of 2012. From 2003 until 2008, she was also an elected member of Harding Township’s Board of Education, serving as Vice President in her final full year.
She earned an MBA in Marketing from Fordham University at Lincoln Center in New York City along with a B.A. from Montclair University in New Jersey. She also completed the International Executive Program at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.
A native of Monmouth County, she resides in Harding Township with her husband and two children.
Rosemary Iannacone, Director of Operations
Rosemary Iannacone, of Monroe Township, was formerly Chief Administrator at the United States Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey. She served there from June 2000 to December 2009. Previously she held the same position at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn.
As the Chief Administrator at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, Mrs. Iannacone was the primary advisor to the United States Attorney for planning and managed all United States Attorney’s Office resources, including a budget of more than $30 million. Among her duties was the management of all personnel resources (approximately 270 attorneys and staff), budget administration, procurement, information technology management and facilities management.
Before becoming chief administrator in the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mrs. Iannacone rose from assistant systems manager, to budget officer, to deputy administrative officer.
Mrs. Iannacone lives in Monroe Township and is married with two sons and three grandsons.
Melissa Orsen, Chief of Staff to the Lt. Governor
Melissa Orsen serves as Chief of Staff to Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. As a senior member of the Christie-Guadagno Administration, she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of both the Office of Lt. Governor and the New Jersey Department State. Her work focuses on coordinating and implementing statewide economic growth and job creation strategies across cabinet and executive branch departments and agencies, outside business partners and the higher education community. Prior to her current assignment, Orsen served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Lt. Governor managing policy, legislative and legal matters on behalf of the office.
Orsen joined the staff of the Lt. Governor in March 2012 from the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) where she served in several key roles, including Chief of Staff to both Commissioner Lori Grifa and Commissioner Richard Constable. While Chief of Staff she handled a broad range of responsibilities including acting as the Commissioner’s liaison on intergovernmental and legislative affairs, serving as the key contact for elected officials and legislators throughout the state, and overseeing several divisions throughout the Department.
Prior to becoming DCA Chief of Staff, Orsen served as Chief Counsel for the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) within the DCA. As Chief Counsel, she oversaw the motion practice at COAH and acted as liaison with the legal, municipal and developer communities on policy and land use matters. Earlier in Orsen’s professional career, she was a Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey where she represented numerous government departments and agencies on federal, appellate and administrative matters.
Orsen holds a Juris Doctorate from Widener University School of Law and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Delaware.