New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that Dave Cole will serve as the state’s new chief innovation officer. In this role, Cole will lead the New Jersey Office of Innovation, with the goal of driving innovation in the state, as well as improving the design and delivery of policies and services to the state’s residents, businesses, and institutions.

“I am proud to announce Dave Cole to serve as State Chief Innovation Officer, leading the New Jersey Office of Innovation,” said Governor Murphy. “Dave’s applied experience and expertise will be an integral addition to my team and I am confident that he will successfully guide the Office of Innovation’s work to design and develop iterative, continuous improvements to State programs.”

Cole initially joined the Office of Innovation in 2020 to help the state respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and served as a technology co-lead for the state’s COVID-19 vaccination program. The governor’s office noted that Cole also co-founded and led the Resident Experience Initiative at the Office of Innovation, which collaborated with state agencies to design and implement digital services in support of new policies and programs.

Cole also previously served as a senior advisor to the chief information officer and deputy director of new media in President Obama’s White House.

“I am honored by the trust that Governor Murphy has placed in me to lead the Office of Innovation into its next chapter,” Cole said.

“When we deliver government services that are responsive to residents’ needs, we restore trust and lift up our communities,” he said. “In addition to our efforts to improve State benefits and services for residents, Governor Murphy’s day-one commitment to establishing New Jersey as the Innovation State has made it possible for us to make it easier than ever to start and operate a local business, enabling economic growth across our state. I am grateful for this opportunity to work with my colleagues across this Administration in service of the residents of New Jersey.”

Cole succeeds Dr. Beth Simone Noveck, who was appointed the state’s first-ever chief innovation officer in 2018. Noveck is now the state’s first-ever chief AI strategist.

“Dave’s commitment to improving the lives of New Jerseyans can only be surpassed by the results he’s delivered during his years helping lead the Office of Innovation — the Office’s future and mission is in capable and expert hands,” said Noveck. “I’m ecstatic to formally take on the new role of Chief AI Strategist to implement Governor Murphy’s vision of having New Jersey lead the nation in the advancement of AI in both the private and public sectors.”

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