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Alex Altman, the deputy communications director on Gov. Phil Murphy's staff. (Photo: Office of the Governor).

Murphy announces promotions, hires on communications staff

Altman, Coyne, Zhadanovsky move up; Peace, Hamilton join governor’s office team

By David Wildstein, February 25 2022 12:42 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy announced a series of staff moves on his communications team following the departure of Dan Bryan from the governor’s office today, including the promotion of Alex Altman to deputy communications director.

Also moving up are Megan Coyne, whose management of the state’s official Twitter account has received national attention, and Michael Zhadanovsky.

Bryan is moving over to Murphy’s political team as executive director of a non-profit advocacy group and a political action committee led by First Lady Tammy Murphy.

“Dan Bryan has been a senior member of the Administration since day one, and I am thankful for his unwavering commitment to our mission of making New Jersey stronger and fairer for the working families who call our state home,” Murphy said.   “Dan has long served as the Administration’s point person for strategic communications and, more importantly, he has been a friend.  I know I am not alone in saying that he will be missed as a member of the Murphy Administration.”

Altman had served as deputy press secretary will now play a senior role in a communications group led by Mahen Gunaratna and Alyana Alfaro Post, the governor’s press secretary.  She had initially joined the Murphy administration in 2018 as a public information officer at the Department of Corrections before moving to the governor’s office later that year.

“Alex Altman has been a critical member of our communications team for over three years, and I am thrilled to have her continue serving the Administration in the new senior role of deputy communications director,” Murphy said.

Coyne, the governor’s new social media director, joined Murphy’s office as a communications intern in 2018 and later worked as a digital assistant and social media manager.  She grew up in Livingston, which has produced a disproportionately high number of state and national political leaders, including three governors, two of them popular ones.

Zhadanovsky also began as a communications intern after Murphy became governor in 2018 and was hired as a press assistant immediately following his graduation from Rutgers in 2019.  He will now serve as deputy press secretary.

Murphy also announced the hiring two new communications staffers: Christi Peace will also serve as a deputy press secretary.  She’ll move over from her current post in the Assembly Majority Office; and Natalie Hamilton, a recent University of Delaware graduate who worked a communications intern, will serve as a press assistant.

“Alex, along with Mahen, Megan, Christi, Michael, Natalie, and the rest of our communications team, will continue building on our Administration’s commitment to keeping the public well-informed,” Murphy said.

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