Governor Murphy to name first transgender cabinet member in N.J. history

Allison Chris Myers
Allison Chris Myers

Allison Chris Myers to become Acting Chair/CEO of Civil Service Commission

Governor Phil Murphy announced on Tuesday, Dec. 5, that he intends to name Allison Chris Myers as the Acting Chair/CEO of the New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC). Myers will replace current Chair/CEO Deirdré Webster Cobb, Esq., who recently announced her retirement, effective Jan. 1, 2023, after serving over 30 years in state government. Myers will become the first transgender person to serve as a cabinet member in New Jersey state history.

“I am thrilled to announce Allison as the Acting Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Civil Service Commission. I couldn’t think of a better candidate to fill the shoes of Deirdré than Allison, who is a career public servant, having started her career in the United States Navy and serving over 20 years at the Civil Service Commission,” Governor Murphy said. “I am truly grateful to Deirdré for all that she has helped us accomplish over the past 5 years. I wish her a happy and healthy retirement.” 

Deirdré Webster Cobb, Esq., has served New Jersey State government in several leadership roles, having started as a Governor’s Fellow during the Kean Administration in 1987. Since being appointed Chair/CEO of the CSC by Governor Murphy in 2018, she has worked to advance New Jersey government with human resources responsive to the needs of the civil service workforce.  

During her tenure, the Civil Service Commission implemented numerous programs and initiatives focusing on partnerships with stakeholders, streamlining civil service system processes, fair and equitable compensation, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“I am extremely proud of the CSC leadership team and employees for their unwavering commitment to CSC’s priorities of renewed responsiveness, expert problem solving, transparency and education, and removing barriers to elevate the status and desirability of public service,” CSC Chair/CEO Deirdré Webster Cobb, Esq said. “I am confident that Allison will continue to build on the foundation I’ve successfully laid to ensure an effective and efficient civil service delivery system for years to come.”

A resident of Cumberland County, Myers received an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration from Cumberland County College. She then went on to become a graduate of Rutgers University where she received her Juris Doctorate and Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies.

Since January of 2001, Myers, an attorney and Navy veteran, worked at the CSC. She previously served as the Director of the Division of Appeals and Regulatory Affairs and served as a member of CSC’s senior leadership team. Due to her expertise and the respect she earned from the civil service community, she was appointed Deputy Chair/CEO in June of this year.

“During my career with the CSC, I have assisted numerous public-sector employers and employees in addressing and resolving their civil service system related concerns. Our aim every day is to better serve the people of New Jersey through the selection and appointment of its public servants based on relative knowledge, skills, and abilities while ensuring equal employment opportunities at all levels of public service,” Myers said. “ In cooperation with labor and management, the CSC will continue to work diligently to implement Governor Murphy’s agenda to provide the finest public services delivered by a top-notch and diverse public workforce.” 

With the new year just around the corner, Governor Murphy looks to continue progressing in the CSC alongside Myers. 

“As I have said many times before, it is important that the leadership in this state reflect the communities we serve,” Murphy said, “and I am looking forward to working with Allison to determine how we can better serve our state workforce.”