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Murphy appoints Rutgers alum as NJ's chief innovation officer

Dave Cole, a Rutgers graduate who studied political science, was recently chosen as New Jersey's chief innovation officer. – Photo by

Dave Cole, a Rutgers alum, was recently selected by Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) as the state's chief innovation officer (CIO), according to a press release.

Cole, who is the second ever to be in the role since its inception in 2018, will succeed Beth Noveck, who also recently moved from the CIO role to assume the newly established chief artificial intelligence strategist position.

"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," Cole said in the release.

During his undergraduate years at Rutgers, Cole majored in political science and government and was an undergraduate associate for the Eagleton Institute of Politics.

When transitioning to his professional career, Cole specialized in technological and governmental affairs. He was previously the senior advisor for technology in the Executive Office of the President under former President Barack Obama.

He also ran as the Democratic candidate in the 2014 U.S. Congressional race for New Jersey's second district. Cole ran with endorsements from Murphy, who was not yet governor, as well as Obama, but lost the nomination to Bill Hughes Jr.

"(Cole'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," Murphy said in the release.

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