Governor Murphy Announces Assad Akhter and Rob Field as Deputy Chiefs of Staff

Government and Politics

June 14, 2024

From: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy

Promotes Krishna Martes as Director of the Office of Labor Relations and Stakeholder Engagement, Rob Matos-Moran as Director of Legislative Affairs

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today announced that current Senior Director for Government Affairs Assad Akhter and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Rob Field will both serve as Deputy Chiefs of Staff. The Governor also announced the promotions of Krishna Martes who will serve as Director of the Office of Labor Relations and Stakeholder Engagement (“Outreach”) and Rob Matos-Moran who will serve as Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs.

“I am thrilled to announce the promotions of Assad Akhter and Rob Field to serve as Deputy Chiefs of Staff,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “Both Rob and Assad have been indispensable members of my team, ensuring effective communication and collaboration with elected officials at all levels government. I am confident they will continue to be fantastic assets to my Administration as we work to deliver a stronger and fairer New Jersey for every family.”

Assad Akhter currently serves as the Senior Director of Government Affairs, working alongside legislators, elected officials and stakeholders to advance the Governor's agenda. He previously served as the Director of Public Affairs at University Hospital in Newark where he was in charge of leading media, marketing and government affairs, including internal and external communications at University Hospital. Prior to his role at University Hospital, he worked at St. Joseph’s Health as the Director of Community Relations. Akhter also worked for the Office of Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. for 11 years in both his Washington and New Jersey Congressional offices, where he was Deputy Chief of Staff. Assad Akhter graduated from Seton Hall University in 2003 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the School of Diplomacy and International Relations. 

Robert Field currently serves as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA) and oversees outreach to elected officials at the federal, county, and municipal levels across the state. Prior to elevating to the position of Director in July of 2022, Field served as both an Aide and a Senior Aide in IGA since the Governor took office in January of 2018. Prior to joining Governor Murphy’s administration, Field served as an Aide and Speechwriter for Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Director of Operations for Bonnie Watson Coleman for Congress, Field Director for the 16th Legislative District Democratic Candidates, Field Organizer for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee and assisted the Pete Buttigieg for Democratic National Committee race.

“I am also proud to announce Krishna Martes as Director of Labor Relations and Stakeholder Engagement and Rob Matos-Moran as the Director of Legislative Affairs,” continued Governor Murphy. “Throughout their time in my Administration, Rob and Krishna have worked to manage stakeholder relationships, connecting our office to people and organizations that are critical to our state. I am excited to see them take on these new roles and continue the important work ahead.”

Krishna Martes currently serves as a Senior Legislative Aide within the Office of Legislative Affairs. In her duties as Director of the Office of Labor Relations and Stakeholder Engagement, Martes will support the management of relationships between the Governor's Office and labor unions, advocacy groups, houses of worship, and community leaders across New Jersey. Martes, a proud Puerto Rican and Indian American, joined the Murphy Administration in 2022 as a Legislative Aide, and was subsequently promoted to the role of Senior Legislative Aide in 2023. Throughout her time in Legislative Affairs, she has worked on legislation pertaining to several issue areas, with a strong focus on labor and workforce development and criminal justice related reforms. Prior to joining the Murphy Administration, she worked as a legislative aide to Monmouth County Senator Vin Gopal for two years. She earned a degree in Public Policy with a Minor in Spanish from New York University. Martes will begin her new role on July 1st.

Rob Matos-Moran joined Governor Murphy’s Administration in 2021 where he served as a Senior Outreach Aide and a Senior Legislative Aide covering education, transportation, human services, among other issue areas while working with Legislative Latino Caucus. Matos-Moran previously worked in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. He is a New Jersey Governor’s Hispanic Fellow, New Leaders Council Fellow, and former EOF student. A first generation American and the son of Peruvian and Portuguese immigrants, Matos-Moran is an alumnus of The College of New Jersey.

The Governor also announced the following promotions and hirings:

Athina Fassu-Nehemi will be promoted to Senior Legislative Aide II in the Legislative Affairs Department.

Devin Mulroy will be promoted to Senior Legislative Aide in the Legislative Affairs Department.

Lance Taylor, former Senior Appointments Aide, will join the Legislative Affairs Department as Senior Legislative Aide.

Kenneth Clayton will be promoted to Senior Aide to the Governor in the Outreach Department. Clayton is primary liaison for Faith, African American, and Youth Outreach, among other portfolios.

Aaron Williams will be promoted to Senior Aide to the Governor in the Outreach Department. Williams is primary liaison for Veterans Outreach and Disability Outreach, among other portfolios.

Riya Kamboj joined the Outreach Department in February and is serving as Aide to the Governor. Kamboj is primary liaison to the Education, Environment, and LGBTQIA+ advocacy community, and oversees AAPI and Muslim Community Outreach, among others.

Edan Blank will join as Aide to the Governor in the Legislative Affairs and Outreach Departments. Blank will also serve as liaison for Jewish Community Outreach for the Outreach Department. 

The Outreach team will continue to be led by Emy Quispe, Deputy Chief of Staff for Labor Relations and Stakeholder Engagement, and the Legislative Affairs Department will be led by Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs Assad Akhter.