Chief Executive Officer
Melissa Orsen was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) in February 2015. The EDA is an independent State agency responsible for providing financing to small and mid-sized businesses, administering tax incentives to retain and grow jobs, revitalizing communities through redevelopment initiatives, and supporting entrepreneurial development by providing access to training and mentoring programs.
Ms. Orsen most recently served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), where she oversaw a budget of more than $3.8 billion and a workforce of approximately 400 employees. Prior to becoming Deputy Commissioner, she served as Chief of Staff to Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, where she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Lieutenant Governor's office and the New Jersey Department of State. Her work was focused on coordinating and implementing statewide economic growth and job creation strategies.
Ms. Orsen joined the Lieutenant Governor's staff in March 2012 from DCA, where she served in several key roles, including Chief of Staff to the Department and Chief Counsel for the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing. Earlier in her professional career, she was a Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey.
Ms. Orsen earned her Juris Doctor from Widener University School of Law and her Bachelor's Degree from the University of Delaware.