Governor Phil Murphy

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Senior Staff'

Photo: Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti

Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti

Chief of Staff

Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti serves as Chief of Staff to Governor Philip D. Murphy.

Diane comes to this role with over 40 years of experience in public service. She spent 21 years at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, where she rose in the ranks from Contract Administrator to Executive Director. During her tenure, she oversaw administrative operations, led negotiations with collective bargaining units, and played key roles in initiatives such as E-ZPass System remediation and the consolidation of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and New Jersey Highway Authority.

Prior to becoming the Commissioner of the NJDOT, she served as the Executive Director and CEO at Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, where she managed more than 460 centerline miles and a five-year capital program. 

As NJDOT Commissioner, Gutierrez-Scaccetti has managed the largest-ever capital program in state history, awarded significant construction contracts and agreements, and supported communities during the pandemic with mobile vaccination efforts and charitable drives. In her capacity as NJDOT Commissioner, she serves as Chair of NJ TRANSIT, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the South Jersey Transportation Authority, the NJ Transportation Trust Fund Authority, and Vice Chair of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

Gutierrez-Scaccetti is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials (NASTO) and currently serves as the Chair of the AASHTO Committee on Transportation Communications (TransComm). She served as the 2022 President of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) and is the Immediate Past President on the IBTTA Executive Committee and Chair of the IBTTA Nominating Committee. She currently serves as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and Chair of The Eastern Transportation Coalition (formerly the I-95 Corridor Coalition).

Gutierrez-Scaccetti holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Science degree from Rutgers University.

photo: Parimal Garg

Parimal Garg

Chief Counsel

Parimal Garg serves as Chief Counsel to Governor Philip D. Murphy.

From 2018 to 2020, Parimal served as Deputy Chief Counsel, advising the Governor on a variety of matters affecting his Administration, including legislation, executive orders, litigation, regulations, and public policy issues.

Prior to becoming Deputy Chief Counsel, he served as a Senior Policy Advisor during the 2017 gubernatorial campaign, helping formulate the campaign’s substantive positions. Prior to joining the campaign, 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.

Parimal received his B.A. from Georgetown University, magna cum laude, and J.D. from Harvard Law School, cum laude. He grew up in Lawrenceville, NJ and resides in Montclair, NJ.

Photo of Dennis Zeveloff

Dennis Zeveloff

Chief Policy Advisor

Dennis Zeveloff serves as the Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor.

He previously served as Deputy Chief Policy Advisor and has worked in the Governor’s Policy Office since the start of the Murphy administration in January 2018. During his time in the Governor’s Policy Office, he helped launch major initiatives, coordinated state and federal spending proposals, and oversaw the composition of several of Governor Murphy’s budgets. Prior to the administration, Zeveloff worked on Governor Murphy’s 2017 campaign and his transition team. Before he returned to his home state, he focused on education and community and economic development policy.

Zeveloff received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, cum laude, and his J.D. and M.B.A from Yale University.

photo: Tim Hillmann Portrait

Tim Hillmann

Principal Deputy Chief of Staff

Tim Hillmann serves as Governor Murphy’s Principal Deputy Chief of Staff

Previously, Tim served as the Governor’s Director of Appointments. Prior to joining the Murphy Administration in 2019, he spent nine years on the staff of Senator Bob Menendez, rising to the position of Deputy State Director. 

He is a graduate of Fordham University and resides in Metuchen with his wife Catherine, son Owen, and dog Gus.

Sam Parker

Sam Parker

Chief of Staff to Lieutenant Governor Tahesha Way and Director of Appointments

Sam Parker (she/her) serves as Chief of Staff to Lieutenant Governor Tahesha Way and Director of Appointments for Governor Murphy.

Sam is an organizational and political professional with extensive experience in strategic planning, civic engagement, and collaborative partnership building. Before joining the Murphy Administration in March 2021, she served as the Development and Political Affairs Director for the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide. Sam also worked as Congressman Frank Pallone’s Deputy Campaign Director (2013) and Deputy Field Director for the New Jersey State Democratic Committee’s Victory Campaign (2012). 

Prior to her return to her home state in 2012, Sam worked for organizations such as The National LGBTQ Task Force, Human Rights Campaign, EqualityMaine, and Equality North Carolina on LGBT+ issue campaigns all over the country. Sam holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Southern Maine and a Master's degree in Public Policy and Management and a certificate of Social Justice and Economics from The Muskie School at the University of Southern Maine.

A graduate of Teaneck High School, Sam was born and raised in Bergen County, and currently resides in Monmouth County with her partner, daughter and two dogs. 

photo: Andrea Spevak

Andrea Katz Spevak

Cabinet Secretary

Andrea Katz Spevak serves as the Cabinet Secretary for Governor Murphy.

Andrea has served in the Murphy Administration since January 2018 as Chief of Staff and then Deputy Commissioner for Operations at the Department of Human Services. She previously worked on the legislative side of the statehouse as Associate General Counsel at the Assembly Majority Office and as Chief of Staff to former Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle. She also worked in private practice as an attorney. 

She holds a B.A. from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and a J.D.  from Seton Hall Law School. She was born and raised in Bergen County and resides in Cherry Hill with her husband and daughter.

photo: Official portrait of Aaron Creuz

Aaron Creuz

Deputy Chief Counsel
Director of Authorities

Aaron J. Creuz serves as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor and Director of the Governor’s Authorities Unit. Aaron joined the Governor’s Office in 2021 and served as Senior Counsel to the Governor handling labor and workforce matters, consumer affairs, civil service, and the information technology and innovation portfolios. In this role, Aaron managed legislative, regulatory, and policy initiatives relating to these subject matter areas. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Aaron worked at a global law firm specializing in labor and employment law. He previously served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Department of Law and Public Safety counselling and representing state entities regarding labor enforcement, best employment practices, and employee relations issues. Aaron served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Deborah Silverman Katz, A.J.S.C. He earned his B.A. from The College of New Jersey, magna cum laude, and J.D. from Rutgers Law School, cum laude

 photo:Lisa Almeida

Lisa Almeida

Deputy Chief Counsel

Lisa Almeida serves as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor.

Previously, she served as Senior Counsel, advising the Governor on consumer affairs, environment, and energy matters. Prior to joining Counsel’s Office, Lisa focused on environmental litigation and policy. She worked for the Environmental Practice Group of the Division of Law within the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General for many years with an emphasis on environmental enforcement litigation, solid waste licensing, and Superstorm Sandy recovery. She graduated from Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, Delaware and from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

Photo: Portrait of Matthew Berns

Matthew Berns

Deputy Chief Counsel

Matthew Berns serves as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor.

Berns previously served as Chief Counsel in the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. In that role, he oversaw civil legal matters for the Department, including providing oversight for the Division of Law, the Division on Civil Rights, and the Division of Consumer Affairs. From 2018 to 2021, Matt served as Counsel and Senior Counsel to the Attorney General. Before joining the Office of the Attorney General, he spent three years at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served as a Trial Attorney in the Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division. Matt previously worked as an associate at Covington & Burling in Washington and clerked for Judge Thomas B. Griffith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University Law Center, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Law Journal.

photo: Mahen Gunaratna

Mahen Gunaratna

Director of Communications


Mahen Gunaratna serves as Governor Murphy's Communications Director, leading and managing the Governor's communications team.

He previously served as Deputy Communications Director to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and, prior to that, worked as the Mayor’s Research Director and as an aide to his mayoral campaign.

In 2016, he served as Florida Communications Director for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign during the general election and as Florida Press Secretary and Connecticut Press Secretary during the 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.

He is a former Communications Director to Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL) and Press Secretary to Congressman Kendrick Meek (D-FL). In 2010, served as Research Director to Congressman Meek’s campaign for U.S. Senate.

Mahen is a graduate of Georgetown University.

photo: Carolyn Cannella

Carolyn Cannella

Deputy Chief Policy Advisor

Carolyn Cannella currently serves as Deputy Chief Policy Advisor to the Governor.

Prior to this role, she served as a Senior Advisor on Economic Growth, where she helped drive key economic development initiatives across the state, including infrastructure, real estate, and clean energy projects, notably supporting the State’s offshore wind initiatives and related port and supply chain investments. Prior to the Governor’s Office, she worked at VF Corporation and Goldman Sachs. 

Carolyn received her Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School. She grew up in Bayonne and resides in Jersey City.

photo: portrait of Jennifer Sciortino

Jennifer Sciortino

Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications

Jennifer Sciortino serves as Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications for the Governor. She first joined the Murphy Administration in January of 2018 as the Director of Communications for the NJ Department of the Treasury. Throughout her 25-year career in government communications she has also worked for both houses of the Legislature, serving two Senate Presidents, and three Assembly Speakers. She resides in the City of Bordentown where she has served as Mayor since 2021, when she became just the second woman and the first LGBTQ+ member to hold the post. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Journalism and English from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

 photo:Jayné J. Johnson Portrait

Jayné J. Johnson

Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Jayné Johnson serves as the inaugural Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, an office charged under Executive Order 265 to develop and support a statewide infrastructure for equity that covers State departments, personnel employed by the State, and recipients of State funds. Through the coordination of policymaking processes within and across State government, guidance to the Governor and State leaders, and the development of a strategic plan with measurable benchmarks, the office works to strengthen the State workforce and improve outcomes for the people of New Jersey.

Johnson joined the Governor’s Office with over 15 years of legal, policy, and advocacy experience working in the nonprofit sector and in State government. She has led strategic policy reforms, managed teams, and forged collaborative partnerships across diverse stakeholder groups to implement initiatives that result in productive, mission-driven processes and systems.

A licensed New Jersey attorney, Johnson earned her JD from Rutgers University Law School in Newark and a B.A. in International Studies from Oakwood University

Stephanie Lagos

Stephanie Lagos

Chief of Staff to First Lady Tammy Murphy
Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor

Stephanie Lagos serves as Chief of Staff to First Lady Tammy Murphy and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor

Previously, she was a Senior Policy Advisory to the Murphy for Governor campaign. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Assemblyman Schaer.

Stephanie holds 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. She served for over two years in the United States Peace Corps working on environmental sustainability and diplomacy.

photo:Michelle DeAngelo Portrait

Michelle DeAngelo

Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations

Michelle DeAngelo serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations to the Governor. Prior to that, she served as Director of Operations and Director of Scheduling, Advance, and Briefings in the Governor’s Office. As Deputy Chief of Staff, she coordinates the creation and execution of the Governor’s public events. DeAngelo also served as the Director of Scheduling for Murphy for Governor in 2017. She previously worked for the Office of Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. in Paterson New Jersey from 2008 until 2017, as well as Pascrell for Congress as Deputy Campaign Manager in 2016. DeAngelo was born and raised in New Jersey and is a graduate of Montclair State University.

photo:Emy Quispe Portrait

Emy Quispe

Deputy Chief of Staff for Labor Relations & Stakeholder Engagement

Emy Quispe, a proud Latina, joined the Murphy for Governor campaign as Deputy Director for Latino and Faith-Based Outreach in 2021 before becoming the Director of Legislative Affairs in the Governor’s Office in 2022. Prior to joining the Murphy Administration, she worked as New Jersey Political Coordinator for Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ. She has also served as Policy Advisor and Director of Community Relations to New Jersey Assembly Majority Conference Leader Annette Quijano. Quispe has held significant roles in statewide and county-wide nonprofit organizations championing education and social equity and has served as a mentor to teens in her hometown. She holds dual degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice from Seton Hall University and Union College.

Eric Brophy

Eric Brophy

Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Growth

Eric Brophy serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Growth, managing economic affairs for the Governor’s Office.

Previously, Mr. Brophy served as Senior Advisor for Economic Growth in the Governor’s Office and as Executive Director of the Educational Facilities Authority.

Prior to his service in the Murphy Administration, Mr. Brophy was a partner at Diegnan & Brophy, LLC, where he practiced municipal law and civil litigation. Mr. Brophy is a graduate of the University of Scranton and Seton Hall University School of Law.  

Mr. Brophy was born and raised in New Jersey and is a resident of Monmouth County, where he lives with his wife, two sons and dog Eli.