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Legislative Updates

Governor Murphy Announces Members of the Restart and Recovery Commission

219th Legislative Session COVID-19 Legislative Updates Legislative Updates

On April 28, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 131, creating the Governor’s Restart and Recovery Commission, a commission charged with advising the administration on the timing and preparation for New Jersey’s recovery from the COVID-19 shutdown. The Commission will be comprised of 21 members, and will be chaired by Princeton Professor and former University President Shirley Tilghman and Ken Frazier, Chief Executive Officer of Merck and Co., Inc. 

Among the major issues to be addressed by the Commission will be immediate questions surrounding the safe restart of society. The Commission will also address both short-term and long-term economic issues as well as areas such as public health, workforce issues, and transportation.

The Commission will develop strategies for how the State and Federal government can support the economic recovery of the private sector and identify critical needs for federal support and intervention. Members will advise the administration on potential investments that will speed the recovery and position New Jersey’s economy for long-term success. Where possible, the Commission will identify opportunities for various sectors to be rebuilt to be well-positioned for both the economy of today and the economy of the future, while promoting equity for disadvantaged communities.

This Commission will stay empaneled as long as necessary to inform the restart and recovery of the state’s economy.

Members of the Commission are:

Dr. Shirley M. Tilghman (Co-Chair) - Professor of Molecular Biology & Public Policy and President Emeritus of Princeton University

Kenneth Frazier (Co-Chair) - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Merck & Co., Inc.

Dr. Ben Bernanke - Distinguished Fellow in Residence at the Brookings Institution and former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Dr. Richard Besser - President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former Acting Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Evelyn McGee Colbert - Founding Board Member and President of the Board of Montclair Film and Vice President of Spartina Productions

Tony Coscia - Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), Partner and Executive Committee member of Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, LLP law firm and Chairman of Suez North America Inc.

Jessica Gonzalez - Founder & Chief Executive Officer of InCharged, VendX, and Lux-UVC

Dr. Jonathan Holloway - Incoming President of Rutgers University and former Provost of Northwestern University

Lisa P. Jackson - Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives at Apple Inc., former Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and former Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Jeh Johnson - Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and Partner at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP

Charles Lowrey - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Financial, Inc.

Denise Morrison - Founder of Denise Morrison & Associates, LLC and a Senior Advisor for PSP Partners. Former President and Chief Executive Officer of The Campbell Soup Company.

Dr. William Rodgers - Professor of Public Policy and Chief Economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. Former Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor

Neera Tanden - President and CEO of the Center for American Progress and the CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund

Reverend Dr. Regena Thomas - Director of the Human Rights and Community Relations Department of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and former New Jersey Secretary of State

Richard Trumka - President of the AFL-CIO

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver* - Lt. Governor, State of New Jersey

George Helmy* - Chief of Staff, Office of Governor Phil Murphy

Judith Persichilli* - New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner

Matt Platkin* - Chief Counsel, Office of Governor Phil Murphy

Kathleen Frangione* - Chief Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Phil Murphy

*Ex Officio

To read Executive Order No. 131, click here.

To read the Governor's press release, click here.

For more information, please contact Hilary Beckett, Manager, Government Affairs at

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