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Higher Education Student Assistance Authority Executive Staff


Margo Chaly, Esq.
Executive Director

Ms. Chaly was appointed Executive Director of the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority by Governor Phil Murphy in March 2024. Immediately prior to her appointment, Ms. Chaly served as Chief of Staff of the Authority since February 2021, during which time she played an important role in advancing the mission of the Authority and Governor Murphy’s affordability agenda. Prior to joining Governor Murphy’s Administration, Ms. Chaly was Manager of Litigation & Operations at a law firm. Prior to that, she worked for more than a decade at multinational insurance companies. Ms. Chaly, a first-generation Guatemalan-American and lifelong New Jersey resident, holds a Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Ithaca College. click here to email


Jerry Traino

Chief Financial Officer

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Alia Abbas

Chief of Staff

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Cayla Sekuler

Deputy Chief of Staff

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Gregory Foster, Esq.

Chief Compliance Officer and Ombudsman

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Ruth Odom

Chief Information Officer

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Marnie Grodman, Esq.

Director of Legal and Government Affairs

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Jean Hathaway

Director of Grants & Scholarships

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Jennifer Azzarano

Director of Outreach & Communications

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