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State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio this week announced the appointment of Candice M. Alfonso as New Jersey’s chief diversity officer (CDO) and director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), effective Nov. 14.

Most recently, Alfonso served as chief of staff for the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) where she oversaw operations, information technology systems, facilities and human capital management, marketing, budgeting, and strategic planning.

Alfonso has over 20 years of multi-disciplinary supervisory, administrative management, and leadership experience across all three branches of state government. Prior to joining the Murphy administration, Alfonso worked for the Judiciary’s Office of Probation Services, and the Office of Legislative Services.

Alfonso staffed the Governor’s Office of Economic Growth under Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Kelley, where she helped business and industry navigate through the economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alfonso also played a significant role in the administration’s successful effort to bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to the New Jersey/New York region. Central to her duties was the consideration of equity and inclusion presented in the state’s winning bid strategy. Alfonso remained part of the administration’s World Cup team while at NJHMFA and she will continue in this role as CDO in Treasury.

“I am honored to have been appointed as the state’s chief diversity officer and director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at such a pivotal time in our state,” Alfonso said. “I look forward to bringing solutions to removing barriers to public contracting opportunities faced by minority, women, veteran, disabled veteran, and LGBTQ+ owned businesses for a stronger, fairer, and more equitable New Jersey.”

The position of CDO in the Division of Purchase and Property was created to monitor the State’s public contracting process for participation by minority and women-owned business. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s mission is to execute diversity and inclusion strategies targeted toward greater utilization of minority, women, veteran, disabled veteran, and LGBTQ+ owned businesses.

NJBIA strongly supported the legislation because the CDO position will help ensure that more underrepresented businesses have opportunities to secure government contracts. Alfonso will work alongside Treasury’s Division of Purchase and Property to meet the requirements of the statute.

“We look forward to working with Candice Alfonoso in her new position as chief diversity officer,” said NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Christopher Emigholz.

As CDO and director of ODI, Alfonso also will be responsible for managing the final phase of the statewide disparity study to completion, reviewing the final report and collaborating with stakeholders to create a strategic plan to increase contracting opportunities based on the study’s findings. On this, and other initiatives, Alfonso will work closely with the Governor’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, the Legislature and other stakeholders.

“We are excited to welcome Candice. Her experience within multiple branches of state government and her long-standing commitment to equity, make her ideally qualified for this position,” Muoio said Monday in a statement announcing Alfonso’s appointment.