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New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) Welcomes New Board Members
1/27/2021 | HESAA Board


Earlier today, HESAA held its first Board meeting of the 2021 calendar year and welcomed several new members of the Board.

HESAA Board Chair Christy Van Horn enthusiastically welcomed the new Board members and thanked them for their service to advance the Authority's mission of supporting New Jersey students' pursuit of postsecondary degrees and credentials. 

"Now more than ever, the students and families of New Jersey need our help to access and afford the costs of college. Governor Murphy has emphasized the key role of higher education in delivering the knowledge-based workforce that is essential to the state's economic growth," said Van Horn. "As Board members, our role is to guide the Authority's efforts to support as many New Jersey students as possible."

Governor Murphy nominated Brian Bridges, Ph.D. to serve as New Jersey's Secretary of Higher Education in October 2020. Dr. Bridges brings a wealth of experience to HESAA's Board from his previous roles in higher education, where he has led efforts to improve access, equity, and student success. Prior to joining the Murphy Administration, Dr. Bridges was the Vice President of Research and Member Engagement at the United Negro College Fund in Washington, D.C. He will serve as Acting Secretary of Higher Education until the State Senate confirms the Governor's nomination. The Secretary of Higher Education or his designee is an ex officio member of the HESAA Board.

Also attending today's Board meeting for the first time was Nelly Celi. Last October, Ms. Celi was elected Chair of the New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Board, on which she has served since 2017. Ms. Celi has a longtime history as an advocate for higher education in the Paterson schools and community. As Chair of the EOF Board, Ms. Celi is an ex officio member of the HESAA Board.

On December 17, 2020, the State Senate confirmed Governor Murphy's appointment of Scott Salmon, Esq. as a Public Member of the HESAA Board. Mr. Salmon is an attorney in private practice at Jardim, Meisner & Susser. He brings to HESAA's Board his passion and commitment to helping students achieve their college dreams.

To learn more about the members of the HESAA Board, please visit here: