Gov.-elect Phil Murphy is already breaking the mold. Yesterday, just one day after his victory over Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, Murphy announced he would tap Jose Lozano as executive director of his transition team, making Lozano the first Latino to serve in the powerful role.
Lozano was a rising star at Hackensack Meridian Health, where he worked since 2013 as a chief of staff and vice president. Before that, he was deputy chief of staff to then U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson — who led New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection under former Gov. Jon S. Corzine — and he was the youngest person to play that role at the agency, which employs 17,000 staff and has an $8 billion budget.
Before that, Lozano was director of strategic and external affairs at the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. He also served in Corzine’s front office in a number of capacities — including policy, politics, and operations — and, at age 26, was the youngest director on staff. Lozano got his start in public service in Paterson, working for U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell.