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Acting New Jersey Commissioner of Human Services Sarah Adelman. (Photo: Sarah Adelman).

Murphy nominates Adelman as Human Services commissioner

Adelman has been acting commissioner for a year

By David Wildstein, January 24 2022 10:21 am

Sarah Adelman, who has served as acting Commissioner of Human Services for the last year, has been asked to stay on for Gov. Phil Murphy’s second term.

Murphy announced on Monday that he will nominate Adelman to the cabinet post.

“Sarah stepped into the role of Acting Commissioner amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and her leadership has successfully guided the New Jersey Department of Human Services throughout this challenging year,” Murphy said. “Sarah’s unwavering dedication, coupled with her extensive knowledge of the Department and its programs, is absolutely essential as we help New Jersey families deal with the challenges presented by the pandemic.”

Adelman replaced Carole Johnson, who resigned in January 2021 to help the fledgling Biden administration coordinate a national response to COVID-19.  Last month, U.S. Secretary of Heath and Human Services Xavier Becerra named Johnson to head the Health Resources Services Administration.

The cabinet post requires Senate confirmation.  By delaying the nomination of Adelman until now, the Burlington County resident must get signoff from the new Republican state senator, Jean Stanfield (R-Westampton).

The Democratic senator from Burlington County, Majority Whip Troy Singleton (D-Delran), endorsed Adelman’s nomination today.

“I’ve known for Sarah for many years, and know her to be a smart, common sense leader who cares deeply for others and always puts the focus where it needs to be – helping people in need,” said Singleton.  “Her commitment to public service is inspirational and exemplary, and her leadership at Human Services has helped countless residents through challenging times.”

Adelman also has the backing of Senate Health Committee Chairman Joseph Vitale (D-Woodbridge).

“I’ve had the great experience of working with Sarah on critically important issues such as expanding access to health care coverage for New Jersey’s children and families,” he said.  “Her commitment to our most at-risk residents is unquestioned, and her leadership invaluable.”

Prior to joining the Murphy administration, Adelman was the vice president of the New Jersey Association of Health Plans and the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute chief of staff.

New Jersey is stronger, resilient and moving forward under Governor Murphy, and Human Services is a central part of his work to make New Jersey the opportunity state,” Adelman said.  “Together, we’ve made significant investments in child care and food assistance, enhanced services for older adults and individuals with disabilities, protected health coverage for more than 2 million residents, and expanded access for those needing mental health and addiction services.”

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