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Mayor Gusciora Taps Jersey City Development Director for Key Role
Release Date: April 12, 2019



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                           

DATE: Thursday, April 11, 2019


Mayor Gusciora Taps Jersey City Development Director for Key Role

TRENTON, N.J. – Mayor Reed Gusciora announced the appointment of Benjamin Delisle as the next Housing and Economic Development Director for the City of Trenton.

“I’m happy to say I am delivering on a promise I made to bring in top talent to Trenton, including in the crucial role as Housing and Economic Development Director,” said Gusciora. “Ben is a powerhouse in Jersey City when it comes to economic development. We’ve all seen how Jersey City has grown in recent years as an economic and cultural force in our state. I look forward to seeing him apply that level of success to help grow our city.”

Delisle comes to Trenton from Jersey City, where he spent 15 years as the Director of Development for the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency.

“Trenton has so many natural advantages to entice new businesses to move in to or expand in the city,” said Delisle. “Similar to how close Jersey City is to New York with mass transit options, Trenton is just a train ride away from both New York City and Philadelphia. There are also government offices, available land, natural resources, and major universities in and around the city, all of which are great reasons for businesses to be in Trenton.”

He brings with him an expertise in working with developers and ensuring a smooth and predictable process of working with the city.

His professional experience also includes the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and other environment-related work. He received his BS in Environmental Science from the University of New Hampshire, Durham and his MPA from Columbia University.

Delisle will begin in an acting capacity on April 15 until his confirmation by City Council and will oversee the inspections department as well as planning and development, affordable housing, recruiting businesses to the city, and other related initiatives.

He joins a strong team of highly-qualified Directors, including:

  • Public Works Director Wahab Onitiri, a 26-year employee with the City of Trenton with decades of experience planning and supervising construction, maintenance, and repair throughout the City as well as five years of accounting and logistics work in the US Army.
  • Fire Director Derrick Sawyer, a 31-year veteran of the Philadelphia Fire Department who served as the city’s 19th Fire Commissioner, overseeing 2,400 members. He received his MS in Homeland Security from Saint Joseph’s University.
  • Business Administrator Adam Cruz, who has 25 years of experience in local and federal government, including two years as the Business Administrator of Perth Amboy and six as Assistant Business Administrator for Newark.
  • Health and Human Services Director Shakira Abdul-Ali, who has 25 years of experience in organizational development, has an MS in Organizational Development from American University, and worked with organizations such as the NJ Department of Human Services, the New York City Mayor’s Office, Girl Scouts USA, the Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine, and more.
  • Water Director Dr. Shing-Fu Hsueh, a water quality expert who worked for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection for 28 years, served as Mayor of West Windsor for 17 years, taught courses in water quality at Rutgers University for 25 years, and received his PhD in Chemical/Environmental Engineering from Rutgers University.
  • Law Director John Morelli, who received his JD from Rutgers University School of Law; was admitted to practice law in three states, four US District Courts, and the US Supreme Court; worked as a Municipal Court Judge for 20 years; and was the Principal of his firm for 27 years before joining the Trenton Law Department in 2017.



Santiago Melli-Huber

Cell: (609) 575-1880

Office: (609) 989-3047

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