NJEA Hires Cornavaca as Policy and Policy Director


The New Jersey Education Association is pleased to announce the hiring of Deborah Cornavaca as Director of Government Relations – Politics and Policy.

Cornavaca currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Phil Murphy with responsibilities that include working with labor and advocacy organizations, as well as a broad policy issues portfolio. She previously worked at the NJEA as a lobbyist and membership organizer. She will assume her new role on June 1.

NJEA Executive Director Steve Swetsky pointed to Cornavaca’s unique qualifications for the position. “Deborah brings deep knowledge of both state government and the full range of political issues that are most important to New Jersey public school employees,” said Swetsky. “Her proven ability to build effective policy-based coalitions, combined with her understanding of the NJEA’s mission, makes her uniquely qualified to meet this challenge.”

Cornavaca expressed his enthusiasm for this new opportunity. “I am honored to have the chance to work alongside New Jersey public school employees again,” Cornavaca said. “I look forward to supporting NJEA’s efforts to build and maintain public schools that meet the needs of every student and family in New Jersey. I thank Governor Murphy for his trust in me to represent the administration in New Jersey communities. I look forward to upholding the same values ​​in this new role.

Governor Murphy thanked Cornavaca for his service to his administration. “For the past four years, Deb Cornavaca has been an integral part of my senior team, leading our outreach efforts with places of worship, unions, advocacy groups and community leaders, among others,” Murphy said. “The relationships she helped forge, especially during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been instrumental in advancing our agenda for a stronger, fairer New Jersey. While I am sad to see her go, I know she will continue to do impactful work on behalf of our students, teachers, and educational support professionals at the New Jersey Education Association.

Previously, Cornavaca worked in organizing, policy and lobbying roles for other advocacy organizations including the New Jersey Working Families Alliance and Save Our Schools – New Jersey.


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