ATLANTIC CITY — A South Jersey native with an expertise in urban policy and community development will take over the vacant role of second-in-command at the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
Rosa Farias, 43, of Galloway Township, has been appointed deputy executive director of the CRDA. Farias is currently the deputy executive director and policy director of the Atlantic City Initiatives Project Office. She will start her new role Nov. 18 and earn $150,000 per year, taking over the role vacated by Marshall Spevak, who left the CRDA in August.
Prior to joining the project office, Farias served as director of urban policy for the state Senate Majority Office where she was also the lead staffer for committees on higher education and community and urban affairs.
“Not only am I honored and humbled to have the opportunity, but I walk in with the acknowledgement and recognition that we can effectuate positive change for the people in Atlantic City,” she said Monday. “I’m going to dedicate myself to the mission of CRDA and making sure that we walk alongside, shoulder to shoulder, with other (stakeholders) to make sure we move Atlantic City forward.”
Farias grew up in Wildwood and graduated from Wildwood High School in 1994. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University-New Brunswick and a master’s in public administration, with a concentration on community development and social capital building, from Rutgers University-Newark.
Farias said she understands that “Atlantic City has always been a place of great importance regionally.”
“It’s all about getting Atlantic City to a better plane,” she said. “Whatever I can do to help move that forward, I am excited to do it.”
Developing and implementing housing policies, as well as operational efficiencies of the authority, will be her primary responsibilities, she said.
“We are excited to welcome Rosa to CRDA,” said CRDA Executive Director Matt Doherty. “She brings well over 15 years of work experience in local and state government, and will be proactive in promoting economic and community development initiatives in Atlantic City and throughout the region.”
Farias helped organize several community events as a member of the project office, including the social services and Latino town hall meetings. She was also a catalyst for returning the Atlantic City Latino Festival to Bader Field this year after a 12-year absence.
The Initiatives Project Office was formed out of a recommendation in the state’s transition report on Atlantic City and was funded through a $1.3 million, three-year allocation from the CRDA. The project office worked under the state Department of Community Affairs — the agency overseeing the state takeover of Atlantic City — and is responsible for implementing the transition report’s key objectives.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who also serves as commissioner of the DCA, characterized Farias as a “dedicated public servant who brought incredible energy, optimism, and tenacity” to the project office.
“In the past year, her work has positively impacted so many aspects of Atlantic City, including cultural activities, youth development, civic engagement and city government,” Oliver said. “While Rosa will be deeply missed at DCA, we are glad she isn’t going far and that she will continue to help revitalize Atlantic City, a community that I personally know is close to her heart.”