Home>Highlight>Biden names two lawyers who worked for Murphy, Booker to top White House posts

Justin Dews with Gov. Phil Murphy in 2020. (Photo: Office of the Governor.)

Biden names two lawyers who worked for Murphy, Booker to top White House posts

By David Wildstein, January 11 2021 9:49 am

Two lawyers with close ties to New Jersey have been named to senior positions in the Office of the White House Counsel.

Justin Dews, a former senior counsel to Gov. Phil Murphy, was named Deputy Associate Counsel by President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Monday.

Biden and Harris also announced that Tona Boyd, a former chief counsel to U.S. Senator Cory Booker, was named Special Counsel.

“My administration has no greater task than restoring faith in American government. Our White House Counsel’s Office will be built upon a foundation of integrity and honesty,” Biden said in a statement.  “This qualified and crisis-tested legal team will ensure that this administration is accountable and always operates in service of the American people,”

Dews worked as a Health Care and Education researcher on President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, as a legal intern for the House Energy & Commerce Committee and clerked for Judge Joseph Greenaway on the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.    The Harvard Law graduate worked for Murphy from January 2018 until joining the Biden-Harris Transition Team.

Gov. Phil Murphy praised Biden’s pick.

“Justin served me and our office with distinction as Senior Counsel. On matters as varied as election law, social justice, and transportation, among others, I relied heavily on Justin’s counsel and guidance – and it was always sound,” Murphy said.  “I know he’ll serve the President-elect and the Biden-Harris White House with honor, and help restore dignity and a true belief in the rule of law to our government.”

Tona Boyd with U. S. Senator Cory Booker. (Photo: Twitter.)

Boyd was a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division for eight years before joining Booker’s Senate staff.  She acted as Booker’s senior legal advisor on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The White House has struck gold again with another Booker alum,” said Mo Butler, Booker’s top political advisor.  “Tona has one of the sharpest legal minds in the country and the White House again has made a very wise selection.”

Boyd is the fourth ex-Booker staffer to be named to a senior White House post.

Louisa Terrell, a former Booker chief of staff, will serve as director of the Office of Legislative Affairs. Chris Slevin, who began his political career working for then-West Orange Mayor John McKeon in 2000 and later served as Booker’s legislative director from 2014 to 2018, will be Biden’s deputy director legislative affairs.

Sabrina Singh, who served as National Press Secretary for Booker’s 2020 presidential run, was named Deputy Press Secretary to the Vice President.

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