State of New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy

Senior Staff

Pete Cammarano

Pete Cammarano

Chief of Staff

Pete Cammarano serves as Chief of Staff for Governor Murphy. He oversees all executive branch activities and coordinates legislative strategy for the Governor’s Office. 

Previously, he served as Chief of Staff to Governor Richard Codey from 2004 to 2006. Prior to that, Pete spent ten years working in the New Jersey Senate as Senator Codey’s Chief of Staff. He also served as the Director of Public Affairs for the Department of Insurance during the tenure of Governor Florio and as Deputy Director for United States Senator Frank Lautenberg’s 1994 re-election campaign.

Pete is a former member of the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and served for seven years as a member of the Metuchen Borough Council prior to being elected mayor in 2015.

Pete received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rutgers University.

Matt Platkin

Matt Platkin

Chief Counsel

Matt Platkin serves as Governor Murphy's Chief Counsel.

Previously, He served as Policy Director for Murphy for Governor. In that capacity, Matt managed the campaign’s internal research and policy team and coordinated substantive positions taken by then-candidate Phil Murphy. He joined Murphy for Governor at the campaign’s launch in May 2016, after having served in a similar role for New Way for New Jersey since 2015.

Prior to joining New Way for New Jersey, Matt was an attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York, where his practice focused on criminal and regulatory investigations. He also maintained an active pro bono practice, representing indigent clients facing criminal and removal proceedings in federal and immigration court. He is admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York, as well as in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.

Matt has been active in New Jersey and national Democratic politics, having worked for Senator Cory Booker’s 2013 Senate campaign as well as having advised various state and federal campaigns across the country. Matt began his career working on economic policy at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., where he advised members of Congress on policies to promote economic recovery and job growth in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Matt has also served as a board member of America Needs You – New Jersey, an organization that provides mentoring and professional development to first-generation, low-income college students in New Jersey.

Matt is a product of New Jersey’s public schools and is a graduate of Madison High School. He holds a B.A. with distinction and Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he earned pro bono distinction and served as President of the American Constitution Society and as an Editor of the Stanford Law Review. Matt and his wife, Sophia, reside in Montclair.

Mahen Gunaratna

Mahen Gunaratna

Director of Communications

Mahen Gunaratna serves as Governor Murphy's Communications Director, leading and managing the Governor's communications team.

He previously served as Deputy Communications Director to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and, prior to that, worked as the Mayor’s Research Director and as an aide to his mayoral campaign.

In 2016, he served as Florida Communications Director for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign during the general election and as Florida Press Secretary and Connecticut Press Secretary during the primary. In 2012, he worked as New Mexico and Arizona Communications Director for Obama for America, serving as the President’s regional spokesman for the Southwest.

He is a former Communications Director to Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL) and Press Secretary to Congressman Kendrick Meek (D-FL). In 2010, served as Research Director to Congressman Meek’s campaign for U.S. Senate.

Mahen is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Kathleen Frangione

Kathleen Frangione

Chief Policy Adviser

Kathleen Frangione serves as the Chief Policy Advisor.

Previously, she worked in the Washington, DC, policy and political consultancy the Signal Group, where she was an Executive Vice President. She previously served as Senior Policy Advisor on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee under then-Senator John Kerry, acting as lead staffer on climate change issues. She also was a legislative staffer in Kerry’s Senate office, overseeing domestic and international environment, energy, and natural resources issues.

She is a graduate of Harvard College and holds a master’s degree from Yale University.

Adam Alonso

Adam Alonso

Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs

Adam Alonso serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. In this role, Alonso manages the Governor’s Office public engagement, intergovernmental, and constituent relations divisions, as well as the Office of Appointments.

Adam previously served as Political Affairs Director for the gubernatorial transition. Prior to that, he founded and served as CEO of the Cratos Group, a public affairs consulting firm.

Alonso is a graduate of Drew University.

Justin Braz

Justin Braz

Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs

Justin Braz serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs.

Previously, he served as Labor Director for Victory 2017 and was Chief of Staff to Assembly Budget Chairman Gary S. Schaer from 2013 until August 2017. He also was the New Jersey Political Coordinator for 1199 SEIU and Chief of Staff to Assemblywoman Annette Quijano.

Justin is a national board member and founding member of the New Jersey Chapter of the New Leaders Council, a leadership and professional development organization. He is a graduate of Penn State University.

Lynn Haynes

Lynn Haynes

Deputy Chief of Staff for Cabinet Affairs & Operations

Lynn Haynes serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Cabinet Affairs & Operations.

Previously, she was a partner in the Trenton-based Advocacy & Management Group, which she joined in 2014 after four years as Deputy Executive Director and Chief Counsel for Senate President Steve Sweeney and the Senate Majority Office. She also has served as Assistant Commissioner of Income Security in the New Jersey Department of Labor, and is a former state Deputy Attorney General.

Lynn received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a law degree from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, MN.

Joe Kelley

Joe Kelley

Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Growth

Joe Kelley serves as Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Growth.

Previously, he served as Deputy Campaign Manager and Finance Director for Murphy for Governor. His past experience includes working with numerous progressive candidates and causes, including United States Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), the 2012 Democratic Convention Host Committee, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. In the 2010 election cycle, Joe served as Finance Director to U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

Joe is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA with a B.A. in American History.

Stephanie Lagos

Stephanie Lagos

Chief of Staff to First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy

Stephanie Lagos serves as Chief of Staff to First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy.

Previously, she was a Senior Policy Advisory to the Murphy for Governor campaign. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director to Assemblyman Schaer.

Stephanie holds a Master’s of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology, Ecology, and Environmental Science from Christopher Newport University. She served for over two years in the United States Peace Corps working on Environmental Sustainability and Diplomacy.

Daniel Bryan

Daniel Bryan

Press Secretary and Deputy Communications Director

Dan Bryan serves as Press Secretary and Deputy Communications Director to Governor Murphy.

Previously, Dan served as Communications Director for Transition2018, Governor Murphy’s gubernatorial transition committee. He served the Murphy for Governor campaign as a Senior Advisor for Communications and Political Outreach, a role which included spearheading the campaign’s digital outreach operations. Dan also served as Chief of Staff to Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer from 2009 to 2015.

Parimal Garg

Parimal Garg

Deputy Chief Counsel

Parimal Garg serves as Deputy Chief Counsel.

Previously, he served as a Senior Policy Advisor during the gubernatorial campaign, helping to formulate the campaign’s substantive positions. Prior to joining the campaign in August 2016, he clerked for New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. He previously worked as an attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in Washington, DC, where his practice focused on antitrust matters, financial investigations, and appellate arguments.

Garg received his B.A. from Georgetown University, magna cum laude, and J.D. from Harvard Law School, cum laude.

Mary K. E. Maples

Mary K. E. Maples

Deputy Chief Counsel for Authorities

Mary K. E. Maples serves as Deputy Chief Counsel of the Authorities Unit, which provides oversight of the governance and operations of more than 50 independent State and bi-state agencies on behalf of the Governor. Prior to joining state government, Maples served in various roles at the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC, including Assistant General Counsel, where her broad practice included high-profile congressional investigations and support for counterterrorism litigation teams pursuing military commissions of high-value detainees, including the perpetrators of the 9/11 and USS Cole attacks.  She holds a B.A from Georgetown University and a J.D., cum laude, from American University, Washington College of Law.

Kate McDonnell

Kate McDonnell

Deputy Chief Counsel

Kate McDonnell serves as Deputy Chief Counsel.

Previously,  she served as General Counsel to the Assembly Majority Office, a position she has held for eight years. Prior to becoming General Counsel, she served as an Associate General Counsel in the Majority Office, where she worked in a variety of policy areas.

McDonnell is a magna cum laude graduate from the University of Notre Dame and holds both a J.D. from the Rutgers School of Law – Camden and a Master’s Degree from Rutgers – New Brunswick’s Bloustein School of Policy and Planning. 

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