The board of directors of Choose New Jersey, Inc., a privately funded and operated organization that works to grow investment and jobs in the Garden State, today announced that Michele Brown will serve as the non-profit’s new president and chief executive officer.

The organization, which is supported by many of the state’s most respected companies, labour groups and higher education institutions, also ratified its slate of executive directors and confirmed its board of directors.

Brown comes to Choose New Jersey after serving for more than two years as chief executive officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), an independent state agency responsible for providing financing to small and mid-sized businesses, administering tax incentives to retain and grow jobs and revitalizing communities through redevelopment initiatives. Prior to that, she was a federal prosecutor and served as acting first assistant U.S. attorney, district of New Jersey.

She replaces Tracye McDaniel, who is leaving Choose New Jersey to return to her home state of Texas to lead its economic development efforts.

"We wanted a proven leader who would continue Choose New Jersey’s good work, and someone ready to collaborate with all entities that comprise the Partnership for Action. We are very pleased that Michele Brown was willing to move from her position as CEO of the EDA, to assume the top spot at Choose New Jersey," said Bernie Flynn, president and chief executive officer of New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company and the outgoing chairman of the board of Choose New Jersey.

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Under Brown’s leadership, the EDA ushered in a new era of economic development in the state with the streamlining of New Jersey’s incentive programs through the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013. Projects approved under the enhanced Grow NJ and Economic Redevelopment and Growth incentive programs account for the expected creation and retention of 38,800 jobs.During her tenure, the EDA closed on financing totaling more than $3 billion to support nearly 550 projects across the state. These projects are expected to leverage $7.5 billion in private investment and create and retain more than 80,000 jobs. She also guided the EDA in its administration of programs aimed at helping impacted businesses and communities recover from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.

Choose New Jersey is an internationally recognized “next generation” model for economic development.Through marketing, business attraction and lead generation activities, Choose New Jersey markets New Jersey as a premiere business location to both domestic and international businesses.  

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