TRENTON, NJ—New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Tuesday appointees to a 21-member Restart and Recovery Commission that will be chaired by Princeton Professor and former Princeton University president Shirley Tilghman and Ken Frazier, CEO of Merck and Co., Inc.
Frazier and Merck made news yesterday when in announcing its first quarter financial results, the pharmaceutical firm announced its intent to consolidate its New Jersey campuses into a single New Jersey headquarters location in Rahway by the end of 2023.
The commission will begin virtual meetings immediately as the administration tackles the work of restarting the state economy. Among the commission’s first tasks will be to advise the governor on the timing of the restart as it aligns with predetermined public health metrics.
“I am eager to participate in Governor Murphy’s Restart and Recovery Commission,” Tilghman said. “Reinvigorating the economy of New Jersey while protecting the safety and health of its residents is the most important challenge we now face.”
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“In this challenging and unprecedented time, it is clear that COVID-19 poses serious threats to the health and well-being of people and businesses including those in New Jersey. As a company proudly headquartered in New Jersey, Merck recognizes our responsibility to help the state respond to this pandemic.” said Frazier.
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, state officials said.
The focus of the commission will be both national and statewide and three members of the Commission, Jeh Johnson, a partner at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President Richard Besser, and Chief of Staff George Helmy also will serve on the regional task force empaneled earlier this month that will include representatives from seven northeast states.
Other appointees to the commission are:
Dr. Ben Bernanke – Distinguished Fellow in Residence at the Brookings Institution and former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
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
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
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