New Jersey appoints ‘talented and inspirational’ trans cabinet official in historic first

Allison Myers

New Jersey has appointed Allison Myers as chair and CEO of the New Jersey Civil Service Commission, making her the first trans cabinet official in New Jersey history. 

On Tuesday (20 June), the New Jersey Senate voted to firm Myers’ role, after she served as acting chair and CEO for the past six months. Myers was nominated for the position by New Jersey’s Democratic governor Phil Murphy in December 2022.

Myers will succeed Deirdré Webster Cobb, who led the Civil Service Commission since the beginning of Murphy’s first term as governor.

The New Jersey Globe reported that, ahead of the confirmation vote, Myers told the Judiciary Committee: “Going forward, it will be necessary to consider new ways of accomplishing recruiting and retention goals, and to continue meeting the needs of public service employers in the state of New Jersey.

“I know I’m up for this challenge, and I appreciate being considered for this opportunity.”

Her nomination was approved unanimously, with a vote of 37-0. 

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Governor Murphy congratulated Myers on Twitter, writing: “It’s official – the talented and inspirational Allison Chris Myers was confirmed yesterday as chair and CEO of @NJCivilService. I’m excited to continue working alongside Allison to build a strong and modern state workforce serving the people of New Jersey”

Allison Myers told local news outlet North Jersey that being trans “shouldn’t prohibit me from living my life”.

“That’s why I came out,” she said. “This is who I am, and it’s always been who I am. It’s just really a piece of the puzzle.”

In her new role, Myers wants to ensure that people are appointed based on “merit and fitness”. She told herself when she was nominated for the position that it’s not what a person looks like, “it’s about what you’re good at and how you can serve the greater good”.

New Jersey’s Civil Service Commission, which used to be known as the Department of Personnel, maintains the state government workforce. Myers has been working at the commission since 2001 and became the deputy director in June 2022.