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Trenton, NJ (October 23, 2018) – Today We Raise New Jersey announced that Gregg Edwards has been hired as the coalition’s new Executive Director.

With 24 years of experience serving in both the executive and legislative branches of state government, Edwards is a seasoned leader who will help drive the coalition’s work to ensure that every New Jersey student graduates ready for a successful future. Edwards most recently held the position of Deputy Secretary of Higher Education and previously worked on education policy in the Governor’s office as well as at the New Jersey Department of Education. He has twice been elected to the Hamilton Board of Education (Mercer Co.) and served two years as Board President. Earlier in his career, he worked as a staff leader in the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly and for a U.S. Representative.

As Executive Director, Edwards will serve as We Raise NJ’s program director and spokesperson, guiding advocacy efforts to elevate the coalition’s six pillars of readiness for college, career, and citizenship: High standards; Committed and supported school staff; Family engagement; Quality instruction; Information on student progress; and Career exploration. He will also lead efforts to engage new individuals and organizations as coalition members, advisors, and partners.

“Gregg’s expansive career spans every level of government – school district, state, and federal – and he brings a keen perspective on the challenges and opportunities across those levels of our education system,” said Patricia Morgan, coalition member and Executive Director of JerseyCAN. “We are excited to continue our forward momentum under his leadership.”

Donna Custard, President of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation, added, “Gregg has been an active member of We Raise NJ for many years and he brings a wealth of legislative and education policy experience to the table. I look forward to working with Gregg as we strive to prepare every New Jersey student for success in college, career, and community.”

Rose Acerra, President of NJ PTA, shared, “We are excited to have a new executive director who is committed to helping parents and students better understand and utilize the data and other resources available to them. It’s important that these resources be used to improve and enhance every student’s education experience.”

Recent statewide data shows that students have continued to improve academically over the past several years and the coalition seeks to build on this progress. We Raise NJ will develop and promote initiatives and policies that look to the future, such as supporting educators and parents in understanding the many forms of educational data available to them; promoting advanced curricular offerings for high-achieving students like college-level courses and credit-earning; and highlighting experiences that prepare students for the work world.

“I am excited by the opportunity to build on the coalition’s success in supporting our high-quality NJ Learning Standards and promoting measures that allow students, parents, educators, and taxpayers to see the degree to which those standards are being achieved,” Edwards said. “Recently, We Raise NJ advocated to the State Board of Education to critically examine and revise the Murphy Administration’s proposed changes to the statewide assessment regulations. We believe that the revisions recognized the success of the NJ Learning Standards and the value of statewide assessments. With that issue behind us, I’m eager for We Raise NJ to promote policies and programs that will make college and career readiness a reality for all New Jersey students.”

Contact: Gregg Edwards,, 609-961-6048


About We Raise New Jersey: WRNJ advocates for the high-quality education every student deserves to be prepared for success in college, career, and community by harnessing the collective strength of New Jersey’s influential education, business, and civic organizations. Coalition members include: New Jersey PTA, JerseyCAN, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, New Jersey Council of County Colleges, New Jersey Business & Industry Association, and the New Jersey Charter Schools Association. For more information, visit, and follow and @WeRaiseNJ.