Home » New County Exec Benson announces first cabinet members

New County Exec Benson announces first cabinet members

by Amie Rukenstein

Mercer County Executive Dan Benson, who was officially sworn in on Monday, January 1, made his first announcement regarding staffing of his new Administration today.

Sharon Shinkle Gardner has been named as Benson’s Chief of Staff. Gardner brings a wealth of experience, having served as Benson’s Chief of Staff in the Assembly dating back to his initial selection in 2011. Before assuming the role as Benson’s Chief of Staff, Gardner had an illustrious career in government, including serving as Assistant Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation under three New Jersey governors.

Benson also appointed Christopher R. Marion as County Administrator, along with Taraun Tice McKnight and Ana Montero, who will serve as Deputy Business Administrators.

Marion served nearly the last seven years as the Deputy County Administrator for the County of Monmouth. Prior to that he served as a Business Administrator for the Townships of Old Bridge, Scotch Plains, West Windsor and Marlboro.

McKnight brings a varied background, having served in different capacities in New Jersey state government including, Chief of Staff & Policy Director for the Department of Human Services Division of Family Development, Policy Advisor in Office of the Governor, and most recently, as Deputy Director & Associate Counsel for Governor Murphy.

Montero’s distinguished career in public service includes serving as Director of FEMA’s Public Assistance Division, CEO of the American Red Cross, and Assistant Commissioner at the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

Benson expressed confidence in his appointments, stating: “Our team has extensive government experience from a variety of diverse backgrounds that will deliver results to Mercer County residents. As County Executive, I will bring innovation, collaboration and transparency to the forefront of Mercer County’s government.”

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