New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Secretary of State Tahesha Way announced on Tuesday the hiring of Andrew Gross as executive director of the New Jersey Israel Commission.

He will begin in August.

Gross previously served as director of political affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York.

“As global innovation leaders, New Jersey and Israel have enjoyed a special relationship for decades, a relationship which I have continued to highlight and build upon since my visit to Israel last year,” said Murphy. “I’m thrilled to bring Andrew onto our team so he, alongside the board, can focus every day on enhancing that relationship to build on our cultural and economic ties, so that both New Jersey and Israel can benefit from continued economic growth, shared expertise in cutting-edge technology and an expanded friendship.”

“I am pleased to welcome Andrew Gross to the Department of State, where he will lead the New Jersey Israel Commission,” said Way. “As executive director, Andrew brings to New Jersey strong commitments to diversity and public service and significant experience creating and strengthening relationships between Israel and our state.”

“I feel extremely honored to have been selected by Governor Murphy as the next executive director of this important commission and would like express my appreciation to him and Secretary Way for their decision,” said Gross. “The commission plays a critical role in bringing the best of Israeli innovation, technology and creative minds to New Jersey, and there is no doubt that going forward our state will only benefit from the new life being brought to the commission.”

“The relationship today between New Jersey and Israel is incredibly strong, and based on shared values and interests,” he continued. “While Israel remains on the cutting edge of the global economy, New Jersey also offers so many world-class opportunities and is a hub for industry leaders. I look forward to deepening this cooperation broadly and doing everything possible to encourage Israeli businesses to consider New Jersey as their top U.S. destination and trading partner.”

New Jersey-Israel Commission chair Mark Levenson noted that “I have worked closely with Andrew for almost seven years on multiple projects and initiatives relating to the New Jersey Israel relationship, including work on the highly successful trade trip to Israel this past October, led by Governor Murphy. I couldn’t be more pleased with the governor’s selection of Andrew to be the executive director of the commission.”