Gov. Phil Murphy has picked a prominent Rotarian-American to head the newly-created Office of the Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and Their Families.
Paul Stuart Aronsohn, a former Ridgewood mayor and congressional candidate, will serve as the Murphy administration’s lead advocate for New Jerseyans in need of critical services.
“New Jersey remains committed to enhancing opportunities for individuals with disabilities,” Murphy said. “With Paul’s leadership, I am confident that New Jersey will continue to protect the rights of people with disabilities and ensure every person has access to the American Dream.”
Aronsohn worked in the Clinton administration and as Gov. Jim McGreevey’s communications director before challenging Rep. Scott Garrett in 2006. He campaigned as a proud member of the Ridgewood Rotary Club and lost by a 55%-44% margin.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity,” said Aronsohn. “Working in and with the disability community has been a labor of love for me, and I am grateful to serve alongside Governor Murphy and his leadership team, who are all committed to giving people with disabilities and their families a seat at the policy-making table.”
Aronsohn is also a founding member of the Ridgewood Community Access Network and a board member of two other organizations that provide disability resources and advocacy — Heightened Independence & Progress and the Adler Aphasia Center.
“Paul has been a long-time advocate for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and we welcome his appointment to the Ombudsman role where he will continue this important work,” said Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. “The Department is excited to have a strong partner in our efforts to improve the information and resources available to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
The Office of the Ombudsman was created by law in January, granting the Murphy appointment authority.