Gov. Phil Murphy formally appointed George Helmy to serve as his new chief of staff today.
Helmy, currently the state director to U.S. Senator Cory Booker, will begin on February 4. Kathleen Frangione, who has been serving as acting chief of staff since Peter Cammarano’s resignation last week, will return to her post as chief policy advisor.
“I’m thrilled to announce George Helmy as my next Chief of Staff,” said Murphy. “George is uniquely equipped to help lead our team as we begin our second year in office. His mix of state and federal experience, management skills, and deep relationships with elected officials and political leaders make him the perfect fit for the job. I’ve seen his leadership on projects ranging from the Gateway Program to Homeland Security funding to the all-important constituent relations, and I know he’ll bring creative and wise solutions to every challenge he encounters.”
The New Jersey Globe first reported Helmy’s potential appointment earlier this month.
Murphy’s decision to hire Helmy was praised by Booker and Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver.
“I can’t think of a better fit to lead Governor Murphy’s team than George Helmy,” said Booker. “With his vast experience in both the public and private sector, and an unmatched intellect and work ethic, George is uniquely qualified for this incredible opportunity. George is highly respected by folks across the political spectrum and has spent years building meaningful relationships up and down the state.
Oliver said that Helmy will “play a critical role” helping Murphy build a stronger and fairer New Jersey.
A Jersey City native, Helmy was Booker’s deputy chief of staff for two years before becoming state director three years ago. He also has private sector experience with a pair of Fortune 500 companies and was an aide to the late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg.
“I’m honored to serve as Chief of Staff to Governor Murphy,” Helmy said. “The Governor is committed to making New Jersey a better, more affordable place to live and work. I’ve long admired his drive to fix NJ TRANSIT, fully fund our public schools, and give paychecks a boost by attracting new investment to New Jersey. Now, I have the privilege of continuing to make that vision a reality as his Chief of Staff. “
“I am incredibly grateful to Senator Booker for the opportunities he gave me, for his belief in me, and for his friendship. I look forward to continuing my service to New Jersey in this role,” said Helmy.
State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) also praised Helmy’s appointment.
“I have known George Helmy for over a decade and I am very pleased with this appointment made by Governor Murphy. George is someone who has valued relationships and responsiveness – which was a major part of his success when working for the late Senator Lautenberg and for Senator Booker. I congratulate and thank the Governor on making an outstanding appointment for Chief-of-Staff and look forward to working with the Governor’s Office on moving our state forward.”