Senior Staff

  • Kevin O’Dowd, Chief of Staff

    In January 2012, Kevin O’Dowd began serving as Chief of Staff to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. From January 2010 to January 2012, O’Dowd served as the Deputy Chief Counsel to Governor Christie.

    Prior to joining the Christie Administration, O’Dowd served as the Chief of the Securities and Healthcare Fraud Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. During the seven years he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, O’Dowd prosecuted various crimes ranging from complex healthcare, securities and financial fraud matters to international child pornography distribution, cyber crimes and narcotics trafficking violations.

    During his time at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, O’Dowd was a frequent panelist and speaker on healthcare fraud and compliance matters. O’Dowd received numerous awards and honors from a host of federal law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the United States Secret Service. O’Dowd was twice awarded the prestigious Integrity Award from the Inspector General of the U.S., Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Award for Excellence from the United States President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency. In 2012, Seton Hall University School of Law presented O’Dowd with the St. Thomas More Medal for his distinguished public service and outstanding contributions to the law and the community.

    Before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2003, O’Dowd served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Department of Law and Public Safety and then as an Assistant Counsel in the Office of Counsel to the Governor. O’Dowd received his B.A. from The Catholic University of America in 1994 and his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1997.

    A Morris county native, O’Dowd currently resides in Princeton with his wife and son.
  • Louis C. Goetting, Deputy Chief of Staff

    Lou Goetting currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Chris Christie. Prior to this position, he served as the Cabinet Secretary to Governor Chris Christie since January of 2010. In both of these roles, he led efforts on behalf of the Governor to balance the State’s budget, ensure the performance of all Departments and Agencies and advance the Governor’s agenda.

    Lou Goetting was the principal and founder of Goetting Ahead, LLC and provided public policy consulting services to both public and private clients. Previously, Goetting was the Executive Vice President of Administration at Brookdale Community College where he lead the administrative operations and information technology of the college.

    From 1998 -2002, Goetting served as the Vice President of Administration of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey leading the capital planning initiative of the University while managing the core administrative offices. Goetting was a member of the administration of Governor Whitman from 1994 -1998 serving as Assistant State Treasurer and Deputy State Treasurer. He joined the Whitman Administration as an established expert on municipal government and led the nationally recognized performance audit program. Lou served in municipal government from 1973 – 1994 as Administrator of three New Jersey communities. He has also served as a Commissioner for the Public Employment Relations Commission and as Chair of the NJ Pension and Benefits Review Commission.

  • Maria Comella, Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Planning

    Maria Comella has directed communication strategies specific to varied constituencies as part of a career dedicated to public service and issue advocacy.  During college where Comella received her BA in international affairs at The George Washington University, she worked in key positions on Capitol Hill, dealing with both trade and budget issues. From there she held leadership roles on several presidential and gubernatorial campaigns, serving as New Hampshire Communication’s Director for Bush-Cheney 2004 and as Communications Director in 2006 for Iowa gubernatorial candidate, Congressman Jim Nussle.

    During the 2008 presidential campaign, Comella served as Mayor Rudy Giuliani's deputy Communications Director, managing a 20-person staff, crafting national and regional communication strategies and serving as campaign spokesperson.

    Most recently, Comella directed communication efforts for now Governor Chris Christie's campaign in New Jersey. She is also currently pursuing a Masters degree in health care policy at New York University.
  • Amy Cradic, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Cabinet Liaison

    Amy Cradic most recently served as Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Christie since 2012. Her policy portfolio focused on infrastructure issues including environment, renewable energy, emergency preparedness and transportation. In addition, she provided policy guidance on treasury, tourism and gaming, and supported the Cabinet Liaison on matters of intergovernmental affairs.

    With an emphasis on the state’s environmental and energy policies, Cradic worked closely with the Governor’s Office of Recovery and Rebuilding, providing assistance on future utility and flood control resiliency efforts.  As part of her policy efforts to support gaming, she worked on a variety of issues in Atlantic City that ranged from promotional activities to social service initiatives.

    Cradic joined the Policy Office staff with extensive public sector experience serving in various capacities within the Department of Environmental Protection. In her role as Assistant Commissioner of Natural and Historic Resources, she oversaw programs including coastal engineering, dam safety, historic preservation, and parks and fish and wildlife management.  She provided oversight of a statewide capital construction program and helped launch a sustainable funding effort to expand recreational amenities and enhance stewardship of natural and cultural resources.

    Cradic holds a Master of Arts from New York University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the College of New Jersey.
  • Christopher S. Porrino, Chief Counsel

    Christopher Porrino currently serves as Chief Counsel to Governor Chris Christie, having previously served as the Director of the Division of Law from February 2012 to January 2014.  Under Porrino’s leadership, the Division of Law was a major difference-maker on behalf of New Jersey citizens, achieving important outcomes in historic litigation and obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments and recoveries for the State. 

    Prior to serving as the Director of the Division of Law, Porrino was a partner at Lowenstein Sandler PC, one of the state’s largest law firms, where he co-lead the firm’s approximately 100-attorney Litigation Department and served as a member of the firm’s Board of Directors and Operating Committee. 

    While at Lowenstein Sandler, Porrino represented public and private businesses and individual clients in a wide array of civil, criminal and regulatory disputes involving securities, banking, insurance, tax, antitrust, real estate and environmental matters, among others. Porrino also regularly conducted internal investigations for businesses faced with allegations of wrongdoing or suspected wrongdoing by insiders. 

    Prior to entering private practice, Porrino served as a law clerk to then Magistrate Judge Freda L. Wolfson, U.S. District Judge for the District of New Jersey. 

    Porrino graduated from Lehigh University in 1989 and received his law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1992. He is admitted to the bars of the State of New Jersey, the State of New York, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit. 

    Born in Teaneck and raised in Fort Lee and Englewood Cliffs, Porrino currently resides in Union County with his wife and their two children.

  • Paul Matey, Deputy Chief Counsel

    Paul Matey most recently served as the Senior Counsel to Governor Christie and Chief Ethics Officer for the Governor’s Office. Among his duties, Mr. Matey supervised the development of legal advice for the Governor and managed significant litigation for the executive branch in collaboration with the Office of the Attorney General.

    Beginning in 2005, Mr. Matey served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of New Jersey in the Securities and Health Care Fraud Unit, and the Public Protection Unit. As an Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Matey prosecuted a wide variety of offenses, including domestic and international child pornography networks, child exploitation, and complex white-collar crimes involving investor fraud, securities fraud, healthcare fraud, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In 2009, he received the Director's Award for Superior Performance from the United States Department of Justice.

    Prior to his service as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Matey worked as an associate in the Washington, D.C. firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans, and Figel, P.L.L.C., and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert E. Cowen of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Honorable John C. Lifland of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

    A native of New Jersey, Mr. Matey received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Scranton in 1993, and earned his Juris Doctorate degree, summa cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2001.
  • Matthew McDermott, Appointments Director

    Matthew P. McDermott serves as Appointments Director to Governor Chris Christie. In this role, he is responsible for identifying, recruiting, placing and guiding nominees for Cabinet level, judicial, prosecutorial, and volunteer authority, board, commission, and task force positions.  McDermott previously was Chief of Staff to Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and oversaw the functions of the Office of Lieutenant Governor and the New Jersey Department of State.  While there he focused on implementing economic growth and job creation strategies with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the Business Action Center, Choose NJ, cabinet level departments and agencies, as well as business partners across the state.

    McDermott returned to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development as Chief of Staff in May 2010 after nine years in the private sector.  As Chief of Staff, McDermott was responsible for policy and legislative development, in addition to implementing and enhancing the Department’s community outreach and constituent relations initiatives.  

    Before joining the Christie Administration, McDermott was the principal at McDermott Public Affairs from 2001 to 2010.  He has represented and worked with a broad base of clients that included building and construction trade unions and contractors, the pharmaceutical and medical technology industry, the maritime industry of New York and New Jersey, and non-profit workforce development agencies.
     
    The former Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor, McDermott gained over 13 years of unique public sector experience serving in management and senior management positions in both the Legislative and Executive branches of New Jersey state government from 1990 to 2001. In doing so, he gained national recognition for business services development and outreach programs while at the Department of Labor.  McDermott previously served as Director of Communications for the New Jersey Department of the Treasury. 

    McDermott, a Cranford resident, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
  • Regina Egea, Director of the Authorities Unit

    Regina Egea currently serves as the Director of the Authorities Unit under Governor Chris Christie.

    Prior to this assignment, Regina was Chief of Staff to the State Treasurer.  Her responsibilities included general management of all Treasury operations and she also played a leading role in developing and implementing the historic pension and benefit reforms that Governor Christie signed into law in June 2011.

    Before joining state government in February 2010, Egea was a Senior Vice President with AT&T in Bedminster where she led its global sales segment marketing team. Her more than 300-person team, located in offices around the world, supported AT&T’s business sales force by delivering a full range of marketing programs. During her career at AT&T, she also led teams in areas including: business strategy development; product management; core Network Operations; Human Resource leadership; and executive succession planning.

    In local government, Egea was elected in 2008 to her first term as a Committee Member in Harding Township (Morris) serving from 2009-2011 including Deputy Mayor in 2010 and 2011.  She was re-elected to a second term but resigned in January of 2012. From 2003 until 2008, she was also an elected member of Harding Township’s Board of Education, serving as Vice President in her final full year.

    She earned an MBA in Marketing from Fordham University at Lincoln Center in New York City along with a B.A. from Montclair University in New Jersey. She also completed the International Executive Program at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.

    A native of Monmouth County, she resides in Harding Township with her husband and two children.
  • Gregory L. Acquaviva, Chief of Staff to the Lt. Governor

    Gregory Acquaviva serves as Chief of Staff to Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. As a senior member of the Christie-Guadagno Administration, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of both the Office of Lt. Governor and the New Jersey Department State.  His work focuses on coordinating and implementing statewide economic growth and job creation strategies across cabinet and executive branch departments and agencies, outside business partners, and the higher education community.

    Immediately prior to his current assignment, Acquaviva served as an Assistant Counsel to Governor Christie where he provided the Governor legal advice on a wide range of constitutional, environmental, utility, agricultural, and alcohol beverage control issues.  Acquaviva joined the Christie-Guadagno Administration in March 2011, serving as the Lieutenant Governor’s Legislative and Regulatory Analyst where he advised the Lt. Governor on policy, legislative, and regulatory matters.

    Before joining the Administration, Acquaviva worked at Latham and Watkins, LLP and Gibbons, P.C. where he worked on complex commercial litigation.  Acquaviva also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Maryanne Trump Barry of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Honorable James R. Zazzali, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

    Acquaviva received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Monmouth University, summa cum laude, and his Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law, summa cum laude.

    A native of Middletown, Acquaviva resides in Bloomfield with his wife and three children.

  • Marc Ferzan, Executive Director of the Office of Recovery and Rebuilding

    In December 2012, Marc Ferzan was appointed by Governor Chris Christie to lead the newly created Office of Recovery and Rebuilding in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.  Ferzan returned to public service from PwC Advisory, where he was a Managing Director in the firm’s investigative consulting practice.

    Ferzan previously served as part of the front office management team at the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General as Executive Assistant Attorney General.  There, he was responsible for helping to manage a staff of more than 8,000 employees, and providing legal and policy guidance on a broad range of civil and regulatory matters to the Attorney General, as well as the Governor and Lt. Governor, Statehouse staff, and executive-level management of Departments and Agencies of New Jersey State government.

    Before joining the Attorney General’s Office, Ferzan served for more than eight years as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, where he held various leadership positions, including Chief of the Commercial Crimes Unit, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, and Acting Deputy and Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney.  He also previously served as a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division and Senior Counsel with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement.  During his tenure as a prosecutor, Ferzan received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Director’s Award from the U.S. Department of Justice; the Inspector General’s Award from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services; and the Award for Excellence from the United States President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency.

    Ferzan received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1989 from Rutgers College and his law degree from Fordham University School of Law in 1992.

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