NJEA names Kevin Kelleher as executive director

NJEA’s Executive Committee has named Kevin Kelleher as the association’s next executive director.

Kelleher, who has served as the union’s deputy executive director since December 2019, will succeed Steve Swetsky, who is retiring on March 1, 2023.

Kelleher first joined NJEA staff in 2003 as an associate director in the Research and Economic Services Division. He went on to become the director of that division and the interim director of Government Relations. Before coming to NJEA, he was a math teacher and local union leader in Mendham Township.

NJEA President Sean M. Spiller, Vice President Steve Beatty and Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robertson expressed their enthusiasm for Kelleher’s promotion. “Kevin has been a valued member of our leadership team for the last three years. He brings both a keen understanding of the challenges NJEA members face and a thoughtful vision for how we can continue to grow and strengthen NJEA as a justice-centered union. We are confident that he is the right choice to lead our staff and to ensure that NJEA remains the strong, effective union that our members expect and deserve.”

Swetsky echoed those sentiments. “Kevin has been a terrific partner over the last three years. He’s a creative thinker with a tremendous work ethic. I know that NJEA will thrive under Kevin’s leadership. I look forward to working as closely as ever with him over the next several months to ensure a smooth transition into his new role. NJEA is in very good hands.”

Kelleher expressed his appreciation for the opportunity. “I’m grateful to the Executive Committee for trusting me with this responsibility. I look forward to working with Sean, Steve and Petal, as well as all of NJEA’s dedicated leaders and outstanding staff, to keep our union on an upward trajectory. We have hard work ahead of us to rebuild the educator pipeline and to strengthen the profession so that our schools will remain the best in the nation. I’m confident we will succeed in that work.”