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Higher Education

Student Assistance Authority

Executive Staff


David J. Socolow

Executive Director

Mr. Socolow was appointed Executive Director of the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority by Governor Philip Murphy in February 2018. Throughout his career in federal and state government and in the private sector, he has worked to advance the success of students and working families. Immediately prior to joining HESAA, Mr. Socolow was the director of the Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success at CLASP, a national non-profit policy advocacy organization, where he led initiatives to help low-income individuals attain the credentials they need to secure high-quality jobs by developing comprehensive career pathways and improving access and affordability of postsecondary education and workforce training. He served as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development from 2006-2010, and previously served as director of New Jersey’s Unemployment Insurance Division and as senior advisor to the deputy secretary in the U.S. Department of Labor. He also worked as vice president for corporate affairs at the New Jersey headquarters of Pinnacle Foods, Inc., and chief of staff for former Congressman Robert E. Andrews. Mr. Socolow earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his master’s degree in public administration from Rutgers University. click here to email


Jerry Traino

Chief Financial Officer

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Hanifa L. Barnes, Esq.

Chief of Staff

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Gregory Foster, Esq.

Chief Compliance Officer and Ombudsman

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Ruth Odom

Chief Information Officer

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Marnie Grodman, Esq.

Director of Legal and Government Affairs

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David Gillespie

Acting Director of Student Loans

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Kathryn Safran

Director of Grants and Scholarships

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Andre Maglione

Acting Director, Client Services

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