Press Release

Nicole Rodriguez Named President of New Jersey Policy Perspective

NJPP Research Director to lead think tank starting June 1.

Published on May 17, 2022 in General

The Board of Trustees of New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP), a Trenton-based think tank that drives policy change to advance economic, social, and racial justice, announced today that Nicole Rodriguez will be the organization’s next President. Rodriguez, now NJPP’s Research Director, has guided the think tank’s policy agenda and supervised its research staff since 2019. She will succeed Brandon McKoy, who joined the leadership team of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities last fall.

“This is an exciting time for NJPP and the broader progressive movement,” said Marcia Marley, NJPP Board Chair and head of the Board’s Search Committee. “Nicole lives and breathes the values that have guided NJPP’s mission since our founding 25 years ago. No other candidate matched her knowledge, commitment, and dedication to the work NJPP does.”

Since joining NJPP as Research Director, Rodriguez has led the think tank’s analysts to policy wins that: made the state’s tax code fairer through the “millionaires’ tax”; opened a pathway for all residents to obtain drivers’ and professional licenses regardless of immigration status; and established a state fund to provide relief for workers and families who had been excluded from other forms of pandemic assistance.

“I’m honored to take on the role of President of NJPP, an organization with a legacy of not only getting things done but doing so in a way that puts people first in the policy-making process,” said incoming NJPP President Nicole Rodriguez. “With democratic institutions and basic freedoms under attack in our nation’s halls of power, the need for community-driven policy has never been greater. We have a lot of work to do in building a state and economy that works for everyone, and I know that with this team we can get it done.”

A Boston native, Rodriguez quickly rose through the ranks at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, starting as a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities fellow — the same program that brought Brandon McKoy to NJPP. At MassBudget, Rodriguez established herself as a state and nationally recognized researcher and policy advocate on issues related to workers’ rights and economic security. Her research was critical to successful campaigns to raise Massachusetts’ minimum wage to $15 an hour and enact paid family and sick leave. Immediately before joining NJPP, Rodriguez was a Senior Researcher at Community Labor United.

“Like her predecessor Brandon McKoy, Nicole came to the State Priorities Partnership through CBPP’s State Policy Fellowship, which aims to bring more diverse voices to state policy debates,” said Sharon Parrott, President of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “Her knowledge and passion for justice make her an excellent choice to lead NJPP.”

Rodriguez holds a Master of Public Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Villanova University. Her personal experience as a first-generation American raised by a single mother from Cuba drives her passion for promoting policies that support immigrants and working families.

Rodriguez will start as President of NJPP on June 1, 2022.

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