Commissioner and Key Staff

Photo: Carole Johnson Portrait

Carole Johnson


Carole Johnson is the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services in Governor Phil Murphy's Administration. She leads New Jersey’s largest state agency, providing health care and social services to about one-in-five New Jerseyans. Under the Murphy Administration, Johnson's Human Services Department has expanded Medicaid coverage of opioid addiction treatment, made new investments in Affordable Care Act outreach and enrollment, substantially increased child care rates for the first time in a decade, and made SNAP food assistance more accessible for community college students.

For more than five years, Johnson served in the Obama White House as senior health policy advisor and a member of the Domestic Policy Council health team. In the Obama Administration, she worked to increase health insurance coverage for millions of Americans through the Affordable Care Act, increase coverage of mental health and substance use disorder treatment, combat public health challenges like Ebola and Zika, and improve health and economic security for all Americans.

Johnson also served on Capitol Hill, working for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging and for members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee. In addition, she managed health care workforce policy issues for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and was policy director for the Alliance of Community Health Plans, program officer with the Pew Charitable Trusts health program, and senior government relations manager with the American Heart Association.


Photo: Andrea Katz Portrait

Andrea Katz, Esq

Chief of Staff

Andrea Katz, Esq, is Chief of Staff at the New Jersey Department of Human Services, overseeing Department operations and administration.

Ms. Katz has spent most of her professional career working in human services policy and legislative affairs. She served as Associate General Counsel at the New Jersey Assembly Majority Office and as Chief of Staff for Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle. She also worked in private practice as an attorney.

Ms. Katz received her B.A. from The George Washington University and J.D. from the Seton Hall School of Law.


Photo: Elisa Neira Portrait

Elisa Neira

Deputy Commissioner

Elisa Neira is Deputy Commissioner at the New Jersey Department of Human Services, overseeing the Division of Family Development, the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Division of Disability Services.

Before joining the Department, Ms. Neira served as Director of Human Services in Princeton administering income-assistance and emergency housing services. She played a key role in leading Princeton’s welcoming community efforts and was recognized for her work in building positive relationships between local police and immigrant communities. Ms. Neira also led the development and implementation of Princeton’s first Community Needs Assessment to identify needs and service gaps of low-to-moderate income households. In 2016, she was selected for a Welcoming America Fellowship focused on building more inclusive and welcoming communities for immigrants and refugees.

Ms. Neira’s professional experience also includes working with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in community residential and day program settings and deaf, blind and deaf-blind individuals. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Spanish from Rutgers University and a Master of Social Work from Fordham University. A native Spanish speaker, she was born in Ecuador and raised in Salem County.


Photo: Sarah Adelman Portrait

Sarah Adelman

Deputy Commissioner

Sarah Adelman is Deputy Commissioner at the New Jersey Department of Human Services, overseeing the Division of Developmental Disabilities, Division of Aging Services, and the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, which operates the Medicaid/NJ FamilyCare program. Ms. Adelman also serves as the Commissioner’s designee on the Board of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.

Ms. Adelman has worked in Medicaid and health policy for more than a decade, previously serving as Vice President at the New Jersey Association of Health Plans and Chief of Staff at the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute. Ms. Adelman also previously served on the Board of Trustees for Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice, the Board of Directors for a statewide child abuse and neglect prevention program, and the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey's Healthcare Steering Committee. Ms. Adelman was named among “New Jersey’s Top 10 Healthcare Policy Analysts and Experts” by NJ Spotlight. Ms. Adelman received her Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Rowan University, a certificate in Advanced Healthcare Leadership from Seton Hall University, and was a fellow in the inaugural class of the New Jersey Healthcare Executives Leadership Academy.