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Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

No decision on who will lead team on NJ’s economic recovery

Skunkworks team will be Jersey-run, Murphy says

By Nikita Biryukov, March 31 2020 4:11 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy said he hasn’t yet decided who will run a “skunkworks”  team figuring out how to restart the state’s economy in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.

“It will be Jersey-run, to be determined as to who,” the governor said. “But it will require, by definition, input that’s probably both national and global, because we have to learn from other models beyond our state.”

While he did not specifically rule out the possibility, it’s unlikely any senior members of Murphy’s administration would be able to head the skunkworks team, given the added day-to-day responsibilities they face amid the pandemic.

Skunkworks is an innovation-based business term that comes a team assembled by Lockheed during World War II to  think about issues facing the world after the war was over.

Details about the team are scant, and Murphy didn’t so much announce it as mention it Tuesday.

Murphy did mention some outside firms and individuals that could help build the path to the state’s recovery.

“McKinsey’s a global firm that already helps us in different ways,” the governor said, referring to McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm. “That seems to me to be something that would help us here.”

He also mentioned Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American progress, a liberal think tank, and Ron Klain, a former chief of staff to two vice presidents and President Barack Obama’s Ebola czar, as individuals who could aid the state’s recovery.

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