New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently announced the formation of a statewide council of leaders from various industry, community, and faith-based groups and institutions across New Jersey to work together and advise on the state’s restart and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

CAIT Director Dr. Ali Maher

CAIT Director Dr. Ali Maher was named to the Governor’s council.

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and its major impacts on the state of New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy recently launched the Restart and Recovery Advisory Council consisting of numerous industry leaders throughout the state.

Director of the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) at Rutgers, Dr. Ali Maher, was named a member of the Council’s Transportation and Infrastructure committee.

“As we begin the difficult task of restarting New Jersey’s economy and recovering from the damaging effects of COVID-19, this advisory council brings together leaders from all walks of New Jersey life,” said Governor Murphy. “This group will not only help us gather the local intelligence we need to get our economy running again, but also will help us create the framework for coping with our new long-term economic realities.”

The advisory council will take a microeconomic view of the recovery, determining the individual challenges that each sector faces, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office. The advisory council is expected to remain empaneled for as long as necessary to advise the Governor on the state’s recovery. The nine subcommittees are Facilities and Construction; Government; Health Care; Main Street; Manufacturing and Supply Chain; Professional Services; Social Services and Faith; Tourism and Entertainment; and Transportation and Infrastructure.

In addition to focusing on issues surrounding the short-term restarting of New Jersey’s economy, this council also will begin the task of positioning the economy and creating a framework for the long-term recovery.

The council is co-chaired by New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education, Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis, New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan, and Choose New Jersey President and CEO Jose Lozano. The council will have nine subcommittees, each of which will be chaired by a council co-chair.

Dr. Maher said that he is looking forward to continuing to work with the other leaders and industry members to help the state reopen safely.

“Transportation and infrastructure are key elements of our daily lives, and have both been disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, he said. “Transportation will be key to reopening New Jersey, and collaborating with all industries is an important step in that process.”