Former Advisers To President Barack Obama Among His Top Picks

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy says for the first time in state history the governor’s Cabinet will consist mostly of women.

Murphy delivered the news Tuesday as he unveiled his picks to lead higher education, motor vehicle and civil service agencies.

He says New Jersey is among the most diverse states in the country and it’s important state government reflect that.

Zakiya Smith Ellis, a former White House education adviser under Barack Obama, was named higher education secretary.

Sue Fulton, named to the U.S. Military Academy’s Board of Visitors by Obama, will serve as motor vehicle commissioner.

Deirdre Webster Cobb, currently an official in the state Treasury, will head the civil service commission.

In January, Murphy announced his nomination of Dr. Shereef Elnahal as New Jersey’s first Muslim Cabinet official.

Elnahal currently serves as the assistant deputy under Secretary for health for quality, safety and value at the VA. Murphy says Elnahal was responsible for posting wait times and other data for every hospital and clinic.

The appointments are pending state Senate approval.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)