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About Us

Our mission is to improve the lives of New Jerseyans by solving public problems differently.

The New Jersey State Office of Innovation was created by Governor Phil Murphy in 2018 with the appointment of Dr. Beth Simone Noveck as the State’s first-ever Chief Innovation Officer.

Founded with the mandate to improve the lives of New Jerseyans by designing and deploying more effective and efficient government services, the Office of Innovation works in partnership with the Governor’s Office and State agencies to create innovative policies and technologies that address complex public problems by working alongside New Jerseyans. We apply data science and public engagement to understand problems, and use modern digital technologies combined with strategic policies to develop solutions that improve services for the public, while also reducing costs for the State and taxpayers.

Our team is made up of dedicated and energetic individuals with experience in government, business, civic tech, policy, and engagement. We are passionate about transforming the way government operates, and we support State agencies in innovating and improving the lives of all New Jerseyans. We partner with teams throughout the state to design and deploy world-class, innovative, and inclusive policies and services that solve pressing public interest challenges.

Principles We Innovate By

  • Innovate with, rather than for, New Jerseyans - using participatory and data-driven methods to improve people’s lives
  • Define concrete and specific problems that matter to real people
  • Design and release solutions iteratively to allow us to measure results, learn fast, and deliver impact as soon as possible
  • Collaborate with public, private and nonprofit sectors to enhance our impact
  • Build with diverse New Jerseyans, putting them at the center of our work
  • Solve problems using a multidisciplinary approach by providing strong domain expertise, breaking down silos, and forming partnerships - across teams, departments, agencies, levels of government, and nongovernmental partners
  • Deliver accessible solutions and policies that meet the needs of real people and organizations
  • Succeed in a highly ambiguous environment with little definition or structure

How We Work + What We Do

The Office of Innovation works collaboratively with government, academic, non-profit, and private sector institutions to drive innovation in the Garden State and improve the design and delivery of policies and services to the state’s residents, businesses, and institutions.

See Our Work

Our Team

  • Dr. Beth Simone Noveck

    Chief Innovation Officer

    Beth Simone Noveck serves as the State of New Jersey’s first Chief Innovation Officer - a position she was appointed to by Governor Philip D. Murphy in August 2018. In this capacity, Dr. Noveck, a native of New Jersey, focuses on enhancing innovation in government and in the Garden State’s economy. Using better data, more collective intelligence and agile technology, her team leads projects, designs policies, and advises agencies on innovative strategies to improve the lives of New Jerseyans. Dr. Noveck serves as the Chair of the Governor’s Future of Work Task Force and sits on the Governor’s Jobs and Economic Opportunity Council.

  • AnJu Hyppolite

    AnJu Hyppolite is a software engineer on the Business First Stop initiative team with the Office of Innovation. She works on developing the Navigator, a one-stop application that improves the user experience for entrepreneurs looking to start, operate, and grow their businesses in New Jersey.

  • Anne LoVerso

    Anne LoVerso serves New Jerseyans as a software engineer, engaging in technical development and building modern digital solutions. Using her expertise in agile development, she works to make government services more accessible, data-driven, and people-focused. Her current work with the Office of Innovation focuses on improving the experience of starting, operating, and growing a business in the state through the Office’s Business First Stop initiative.

  • Crystal Peñalosa

    Crystal Peñalosa (she/they) is an artist, civic technologist, and interdisciplinary designer. Within the Office of Innovation, Crystal serves as the digital product lead for the Data for the American Dream initiative, leading the project’s human centered design, research, and product management in collaboration with New Jersey Department of Labor.

  • Dave Cole

    Dave Cole is a technology leader and public servant with deep experience in the public and private sectors. He currently serves as a fellow with the Office of Innovation where he collaborates with agencies across state government to design and develop digital services in support of new policies and programs. He also serves as a technology co-lead for the State’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

  • David Powell

    David Powell serves as a content lead at the Office of Innovation. In this role, he functions as a primary content developer and editor for the New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub, Business.NJ.gov, and email publications that reach millions of state residents.

  • Edward Paulino

    Edward Paulino conducts policy analysis and drives engagement initiatives at the Office of Innovation. In his work, he fosters collaboration between government, external stakeholders, and New Jerseyans to inform policies by leveraging new and innovative ways for the public to contribute meaningfully to the policymaking process.

  • E.J. Kalafarski

    E.J. Kalafarski is a technology strategist with the Office of Innovation, where he manages the Business First Stop initiative, leveraging human-centered design and agile, data-driven practices to make it easier and faster to do business in the State of New Jersey through better digital services. He focuses on building organizations and products that run intuitively and iterate fast.

  • Eugene K. Chow

    Eugene K. Chow is an experienced speechwriter, journalist, and communications strategist, with more than a decade of public and private sector experience. With the Office of Innovation, he supports key public communication initiatives, such as the COVID-19 Information Hub, through content development and strategic messaging.

  • Fred DeJohn

    Fred DeJohn is an attorney with extensive experience in finance, budget, and human resources in both government and higher education. He serves as the Office of Innovation’s chief financial officer - in this capacity, Fred oversees the Office’s financial operations, manages relationships with foundation and institutional funders, and advises the Chief Innovation Officer on organizational governance and human resource matters.

  • Giuseppe Morgana

    Giuseppe Morgana serves as a senior advisor to the New Jersey State Office of Innovation. He formerly served as the Office’s founding digital director, leading a team of technologists transforming how the State delivers digital services to residents through the use of modern technology, human-centered design, and agile, data-driven practices.

  • Graham Simpson

    Graham Simpson works on policy and engagement work at the Office of Innovation. In that role, he supports and manages public policy initiatives, leads the Office’s programs on public entrepreneurship and innovation skills training, and produces policy research. Graham is passionate about evidence-informed policy and helping policy professionals use and apply data.

  • Hannah Chatham

    Hannah Chatham (she/her) serves as a product designer for the Office of Innovation, currently diving deep into best ways to provide more access for working parents as they apply for public benefits. She works at the intersection of research and design; listening to needs and iterating with visual solutions.

  • Jessica Lax

    Jessica Lax plays a leading role in the Office of Innovation’s efforts to improve the experience of starting, operating, and growing a business in the Garden State. She is a civic sector strategist that leverages human-centered design and interdisciplinary collaboration to create more just and impactful organizations, programs and policies.

  • Joe DeLaTorre

    Joe DeLaTorre supports technology and policy implementation on an array of initiatives for the Office of Innovation. He leverages human-centered design skills to develop and implement UX/UI and content changes on Business.NJ.gov, and investigates the use of new technologies and innovations to improve the experience of starting, operating, and growing a business in the Garden State. Joe also conducts policy research and formulates policy recommendations related to workforce development and the future of work.

  • Kai D. Feder

    Kai D. Feder serves as the chief of staff at the Office of Innovation, where he oversees the office’s day-to-day operations and advises the Chief Innovation Officer on strategic direction, leads projects and policy initiatives, and manages intergovernmental and external affairs. His career in government and public policy has spanned numerous issue areas, ranging from economic development and technology, to transportation and infrastructure, and has included positions in both the public and private sectors.

  • Katie Fiore

    Katie Fiore leads strategy for the Office of Innovation’s Communication & Engagement Lab, where she is working to modernize and advance the State’s ability to effectively market and promote key services, programs, and initiatives through the use of research- and data-driven best practices.

  • Maita Navarro

    Maita Navarro is a digital design graduate research fellow with the Office of Innovation’s Communications and Engagement lab, where she works to research, design, and implement solutions to better connect residents with State government benefits, programs, services, and products.

  • Mike Flowers

    Mike Flowers supports the Office of Innovation’s efforts to leverage data intelligence and infrastructure to “de-silo” government operations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has worked across State government partners to stand up technology and logistics capacity for contact tracing, exposure notification and vaccine distribution, and on small business recovery and regulatory innovation.

  • Naman Agrawal

    Naman Agrawal is a software engineer focused on building technology that is accessible, user-focused, and tackles human problems. At the Office of Innovation, Naman works on products that help New Jerseyans access government services more efficiently .

  • Nausheen Rajan

    Nausheen Rajan works on data analytics and impact analysis with the Office of Innovation. Her work focuses on identifying and measuring key performance indicators through quantitative and qualitative analysis.

  • Ross Dakin

    Ross Dakin is a technologist whose background spans Silicon Valley startups, corporate enterprise, federal/state/local government, national non-profits, and academia. Ross currently supports the Office of Innovation in technical and strategic capacities, focusing on alleviating unemployment and facilitating small business growth. Ross was formerly an information security strategist at Bank of America and advised the Microsoft Cities team on how to best utilize the company’s resources for public good in New York City.

  • Soma Sai Kumar Badri

    Soma is a software engineer with the Office of Innovation’s Business First Stop initiative team - he is working on improving the experience of starting, operating, and growing a business in New Jersey.

  • Veronica Akaezuwa

    Veronica Akaezuwa works on policy, data analytics, and impact analysis with the Office of Innovation. She’s currently undertaking the development of performance evaluation tools to advance the Office’s data-driven policy and product development approaches on several initiatives. This work will further enable the Office’s ability to measure how well new products and services meet the needs of the State’s constituents.

  • Xavier Hughes

    Xavier Hughes specializes in large scale innovation, smart cities, big data, product development, conceptual design, and service innovation and automation. Within the Office of Innovation, Xavier provides project management support for the New Jersey Data for the American Dream (NJD4AD) initiative – an interactive, mobile-responsive website offering data-driven advice for job seekers and employers about training opportunities and outcomes.

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