New Jersey Governor Names First Black Chief of Staff

Appointee was former commissioner of state's environmental agency

New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine announced Lisa Jackson as his chief of staff, making her the first African American to hold the position in the state. Jackson, formerly the commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), will assume her new responsibilities Dec. 1.

“I look forward to this new opportunity to serve Gov. Corzine and the people of New Jersey,” Jackson says in a news release. “The governor has asked me to focus on implementing his economic and energy agendas. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues inside and outside the statehouse to get the job done.”

Jackson joined the DEP in 2002 as assistant commissioner of compliance and enforcement after working 16 years with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She then served as the DEP’s assistant commissioner for land use management in 2005 and headed numerous programs including Land Use Regulation, Water Supply, and Geological Survey, before being appointed DEP commissioner in 2006.

“As head of the Department of Environmental Protection, Commissioner Jackson has tackled some of the most serious environmental challenges ever faced in New Jersey, from global climate change to alternative energy,” Gov. Corzine says. “Lisa’s leadership, work ethic, and skills at handling complex issues make her a perfect fit to manage the day-to-day operations of the governor’s office.”

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Jackson received her bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and her master’s degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University.

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