Governor-Elect Phil Murphy Announces Communications Team
Trenton – Governor-elect Phil Murphy today announced key members of his communications team in the Governor’s office. The appointments bring a diverse set of skills spanning media relations, digital engagement, journalism, video, and photography and a wide range of experiences spanning local, state, and national politics.
“We have put together a team that understands how to keep New Jerseyans well-informed of the work we’re doing to improve their lives,” said Governor-elect Murphy. “From keeping residents updated on a snow storm to getting the word out about new administration initiatives, these individuals know how to communicate quickly and effectively with the media and directly with the public. Together, they will help convey my vision of a stronger and fairer New Jersey for all.”
Mahen Gunaratna will serve as Communications Director, leading the Governor’s communications team. He has served as Deputy Communications Director to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio since January 2017 and previously served as the Mayor’s Research Director and as an aide to his mayoral campaign. In 2016, he served as Florida Communications Director for the Clinton campaign during the general election and as Florida Press Secretary and Connecticut Press Secretary during the presidential primary. In 2012, he worked as New Mexico and Arizona Communications Director for Obama for America, serving as the President’s regional spokesman for the Southwest. He is a former Communications Director to Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL) and Press Secretary to Congressman Kendrick Meek (D-FL) and, in 2010, served as Research Director to Congressman Meek’s campaign for U.S. Senate. Mahen is a graduate of Georgetown University.
Daniel Bryan will serve as Press Secretary and Deputy Communications Director. Dan currently serves as Communications Director for Transition2018, Governor-elect Murphy’s gubernatorial transition committee. He served the Murphy for Governor campaign as a Senior Advisor for Communications and Political Outreach, a role which included spearheading the campaign’s digital outreach operations. Previously, Dan served as Chief of Staff to Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer from 2009 to 2015. From 2015 to 2016, he worked at BeckermanPR, a boutique public relations firm in New Jersey. A graduate of the University of Scranton and Don Bosco Prep, Dan grew up in Ringwood, New Jersey. He currently resides in Hoboken with his wife and daughter.
Pearl Gabel will serve as Digital Director, managing the Governor’s digital operations. She is a multimedia-centered creative professional and producer with over a decade of experience as a visual storyteller. Pearl most recently served as Director of Video for the City government of New York, overseeing the development and execution of video, documentary, and social media projects. She previously served as a freelance video producer and photojournalist for organizations such as NBC News, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, and The New York Times, among others. From 2009 to 2015, Pearl worked as a staff photographer, contributing reporter, and multimedia journalist with the New York Daily News. A native of the Jersey Shore and proud product of New Jersey public schools, Pearl is a graduate of Hampshire College and earned her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.
Derek Roseman will serve as Chief Speechwriter. Derek most recently served as communications director for Phil Murphy for Governor. He has been a spokesman for Democratic leadership in both the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly and served as statewide communications director for the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee for each election cycle from 2005 to 2015. He has worked for U.S. Senator Tom Daschle and was a public affairs consultant at the Washington-based firm APCO Worldwide. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from the College of New Jersey and a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University.
Liza Acevedo will serve as Deputy Press Secretary. Since 2015, she has served as Communications Director to Deputy Democratic Leader of the New York State Senate Michael Gianaris, managing the Senator’s communications strategies and serving as spokeswoman. She has interned at the Brooklyn headquarters of Hillary for America, the congressional and district offices of U.S. Representative Yvette Clarke, and the office of the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team. Liza is a graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts.
Edwin J. Torres will serve as Deputy Digital Director. A visual storyteller and photojournalist, Edwin has served as a photographer for the New York City government since 2016. He is a former photojournalist, contributing imagery for publications including the New York Times. In 2015, he served as a Reporting and Photography Fellow for ProPublica, working as lead photographer for a Pulitzer-prize winning series on nuisance abatement in NYC. Edwin is a former editor-at-large for The GroundTruth Project, curating photographic essays on underreported stories, and is a volunteer at the Bronx Documentary Center. He was a Knight CUNYJ Fellow at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and is a graduate of Colby College.
Alyana Alfaro Post will serve as Press Aide to the Governor. Since 2015, she has served as a politics reporter for Observer New Jersey, covering local, state, and national politics in the Garden State. She previously served as a freelance journalist and as Specialty Editor for the monthly medical journal Federal Practitioner. She is a former intern for NBC Local Integrated Media and The Village Voice. A resident of Fair Lawn, Alyana received her bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University and a Masters of Arts in Multimedia Journalism from New York University.
Christine Lee will serve as Press Assistant. She is a recent graduate of Caldwell University in Psychology with a minor in Business Management. She is a lifelong New Jersey resident.