As first reported by InsiderNJ here and here, Governor-elect Phil Murphy today officially named the top two positions in his incoming administration — Pete Cammarano to be his Chief of Staff and Matt Platkin to be Chief Counsel.
Cammarano is widely respected across both sides of the aisle, and previously served as Chief of Staff to Governor Richard Codey from 2004 to 2006. Platkin, an attorney with dual degrees from Stanford University, served as the governor-elect’s Policy Director during the gubernatorial campaign.
“My administration will be judged both by the quality of the ideas put forward, and by our ability to implement an agenda that moves our state and our people forward in a new and better direction,” Governor-elect Murphy said. “The people have entrusted us to make New Jersey the place where progressive ideals and responsible government go hand-in-hand. With Pete and Matt leading the team, we will be in a strong position to achieve that goal.”
As Chief of Staff, Cammarano will oversee all the workings of the Governor’s Office and the Executive Branch.
“I am honored that the Governor-elect has asked me to lead his administration and look forward to implementing his agenda to positively impact the lives of all nine million of our residents,” said Cammarano. “New Jersey faces deep-rooted challenges and needs a leader who will approach every issue as an opportunity to move forward. I have known the Governor-elect for more than a decade, and I know he is the man to provide that leadership.”
As the Chief Counsel, Platkin will serve as the Governor’s chief legal advisor and will shape the administration’s policy proposals.
“Under Governor-elect Murphy, we have an opportunity to make New Jersey a national model for creating a stronger and fairer economy and implementing reforms that will level the playing field for all New Jerseyans,” said Platkin. “It has been an honor to work with Governor-elect Murphy for the past several years, and it will be an honor to serve this administration and help build a better New Jersey for future generations.”
Full biographies of both Cammarano and Platkin follow.
Chief-of-Staff Pete Cammarano
Pete Cammarano served as Chief of Staff to Governor Richard Codey when he assumed that role in 2004. In his capacity as Chief of Staff, he was responsible for overseeing all legislative and executive branch activities in New Jersey.
Prior to serving as Chief of Staff, Pete spent ten years working in the New Jersey Senate as Senator Codey’s Chief of Staff. He previously served as the Director of Public Affairs for the Department of Insurance during the tenure of Governor Florio, and as Deputy Director for United States Senator Frank Lautenberg’s 1994 re-election campaign.
He is a former member of the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, and he served seven years as a member of the Metuchen Borough Council prior to being elected mayor in 2015.
Pete received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rutgers University.
Chief Counsel Matt Platkin
Matt Platkin most recently served as Policy Director for Murphy for Governor. In that capacity, Matt managed the campaign’s internal research and policy team and coordinated substantive positions taken by then-candidate Phil Murphy. He joined Murphy for Governor at the campaign’s launch in May 2016, after having served in a similar role for New Way for New Jersey since 2015.
Prior to joining New Way for New Jersey, Matt was an attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York, where his practice focused on criminal and regulatory investigations. He also maintained an active pro bono practice, representing indigent clients facing criminal and removal proceedings in federal and immigration court. He is admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York, as well as in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.
Matt has been active in New Jersey and national Democratic politics, having worked for Senator Cory Booker’s 2013 Senate campaign as well as having advised various state and federal campaigns across the country. Matt began his career working on economic policy at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., where he advised members of Congress on policies to promote economic recovery and job growth in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Matt has also served as a board member of America Needs You – New Jersey, an organization that provides mentoring and professional development to first-generation, low-income college students in New Jersey.
Matt is a product of New Jersey’s public schools and is a graduate of Madison High School. He holds a B.A. with distinction and Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he earned pro bono distinction and served as President of the American Constitution Society and as an Editor of the Stanford Law Review. Matt and his wife, Sophia, reside in Montclair.