Gov. Phil Murphy recently announced his intention to nominate Kevin Dehmer to serve as the next commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education. He will succeed Acting Commissioner Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, who announced her retirement after three years in the position.

“Ensuring that New Jersey’s schools are ready to meet the ever-changing and evolving needs of our communities is crucial. Nobody is better prepared to meet this charge than Kevin, who has spent more than 15 years at the New Jersey Department of Education, including two stints as interim commissioner. His wealth of experience in education policy and proven commitment to improving educational outcomes for all New Jersey students will make him an indispensable asset,” Murphy said. “A resounding thank you to Angelica for her leadership during incredibly challenging times for our schools. I wish her all the best in her retirement.”

“It is an incredible honor to be selected to serve as the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education,” Dehmer said. “Thank you, Governor Murphy, for the opportunity to continue advancing our shared mission of uplifting our best-in-the-nation public schools to ensure all students have the opportunity to succeed. I look forward to reprising my role as commissioner in a more permanent capacity and getting to work on behalf of our students, educators and our school communities.”

Dr. Timothy J. Purnell, NJSBA executive director and CEO of the New Jersey School Boards Association, welcomed the news, stating, “Kevin Dehmer has extensive experience in leadership roles at the NJDOE. When I served as interim executive county superintendent in Morris County, I knew and respected Kevin’s work, and I know that he will be an asset at the New Jersey Department of Education and an effective advocate for New Jersey’s public education system.

“We offer our sincere congratulations to Kevin and look forward to working with him in his new role as the state’s chief education officer.”

Since 2022, Dehmer has served as executive director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, where he led a group of researchers focused on strategies that enhance workers’ skills and employability through education and training programs.

He previously worked at the NJDOE, holding several leadership roles, including assistant commissioner and chief financial officer. Over more than 15 years at the department, he directed numerous offices and served on several state councils, advisory groups and commissions. He also briefly served as interim commissioner in 2018 and 2020.

Allen-McMillan said it has been “a great privilege” to lead the NJDOE after a career spent serving New Jersey’s schools. “I wish the Murphy administration continued success in advancing our shared goals for maintaining New Jersey’s place as home to the best public education system in the country,” she said.

Purnell had words of appreciation for the outgoing acting commissioner of education. “I also want to congratulate Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan on her retirement, thank her for her service to New Jersey’s 1.4 million public school students and wish her all the best in the years to come,” Purnell said.