Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) announced late last week the hiring of several key members of the staff of the Senate Democratic Majority Office.
“I am grateful these experienced and talented individuals are joining our staff,” said Sweeney. “I have always believed one of the most important duties as Senate President is assembling a top-notch team for our caucus that is dedicated to serving the residents of New Jersey. These eight exceptional individuals will be a tremendous addition to our staff and I am proud to have them on our team.”
Fruqan Mouzon will become the General Counsel.
Mouzon has practiced law at Gibbons P.C. for the past 6 years where he has handled government affairs, white collar criminal defense and business and commercial litigation. Prior to Gibbons, he served as Assistant Counsel to Governor Jon Corzine. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall University School of Law and has extensive public and private sector legal experience. He was President of the Garden State Bar Association from 2012 to 2013, and in 2009 was named as one of New Jersey’s top 40 attorneys under 40 by the New Jersey Law Journal. Mouzon graduated from Old Dominion University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and from Seton Hall University School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctorate.
Alan M. Weinberg earlier this month joined the staff as Director of Operations for the Senate Majority Office and senior advisor to the Senate President. Weinberg most recently served as the VP of Policy at the New Jersey Community Development Corporation. He has extensive private sector and governmental experience including founding a small business, serving as Senior Director of Public Affairs at the New Jersey Transit Corporation, working in the Office of the Governor in New Jersey and in the United States Senate. Weinberg graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a MPA from the School of Public Affairs, and from the School of Management at New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he earned his MBA.
Roslyn J. Smith earlier this month joined the Senate Majority staff as Assistant Director for Constituent Relations. Smith most recently served as the Executive Director of the Essex County Democratic Committee. Prior to that position she was the Marketing and Online Campaign Specialist for Abundant Life Academy in New York. She graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.
Rose Farias will join the Senate Majority Staff as a Research Associate. Farias currently holds the position of Senior Management Specialist in the Department of Law for the City of Newark. Prior to her current role, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Cory Booker. Farias graduated from Rutgers University, where she has earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Arts in public administration, and is currently seeking her Master of Arts in Labor Relations.
Elizabeth Mahn recently joined the Senate Majority staff as a Research Associate. Mahn most recently served as a State Budget Specialist in the New Jersey Office of Management and Budget. She also served as a Development Association Coordinator in the United States Peace Corps and has extensive social policy experience. Mahn graduated from Hamline University with a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies, Sociology, and from Rutgers University, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy where she earned her Master of Public Policy degree.
Keri Salerno will join the Senate Majority Staff as a Research Associate. Salerno currently serves in the Administration of Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter where she is the Director of Reentry strategies and Outreach in the Public Safety Office. She also held the title of Director of Philanthropic Relations in the Mayor’s Office and was a member of Mayor Nutter’s Transition Team. Salerno graduated from Tulane University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in History, and from the University of Pennsylvania, Fels Institute of Government, where she earned her Master in Government Administration degree and Certificate in Non-profit Management.
Zainab Chaudary will join the Senate Majority Staff as a Communications Specialist. Chaudary currently serves as a Press Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives, Office of Representative Rush Holt. She served as Civil Rights Coordinator for the Council of American-Islamic Relations. Ms. Chaudary attended Rutgers University and graduated from Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat in Germany, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Katia Diaz will join the Senate Majority Staff as a Communications Specialist. Diaz currently serves as office manager and marketing coordinator for Elmslie Osler Architect in New York. She also co-founded a non-profit, Read Between the Minds which is an e-mentoring program for post-secondary advancement. Prior to her current roles, she was a speechwriting intern in the White House Office of the Vice-President, planned and executed an anti-bullying campaign for the Bateman Case Study Competition and was a freelance reporter for The Alternative Press in South Orange. Ms. Diaz graduated from Seton Hall University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations, and is proficient in conversational Spanish and Japanese.
With the exception of Weinberg, Smith and Mahn who have already started working in the Senate Majority Office, the remaining new hires will begin on January 5, 2015.
“As we enter 2015, I wanted to ensure that our office was capable of moving our agenda forward and prepared to address New Jersey’s continuing budget challenges. Over the coming months we will continue aggressively pursuing a solution to our state’s crumbling transportation infrastructure, working tirelessly to make college more affordable for New Jersey’s middle class students and families and ensuring that our teachers, police officers, firefighters and dedicated public workers have the pensions they were promised and rightfully deserve. These individuals, along with the team already in place will help take our office to another level in providing support for our Democratic Senators and allow the people of New Jersey to get the accountability and efficiency they deserve from their government,” said Sweeney.