Philip D. Murphy

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Phil Murphy
Philip D. Murphy.jpg
31st United States Ambassador to Germany
In office
August 21, 2009 – May 29, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by William R. Timken, Jr.
Succeeded by John B. Emerson
Personal details
Born 1957[1]
in or near Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Tammy Murphy
Children 4
Alma mater Harvard University
Wharton School University of Pennsylvania

Philip D. Murphy (born 1957)[1] and commonly known as just Phil Murphy, is an announced Democratic Party candidate in the New Jersey gubernatorial election, 2017. Prior to running for governor, Murphy served as chair of New Way for New Jersey, a progressive organization.

Murphy was the United States Ambassador to Germany from 2009 to 2013. He has also served as finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee under Howard Dean. Murphy had a 23-year career at Goldman Sachs before retiring from there in 2006.

Early life and education[edit]

Murphy was born and raised in the Boston metropolitan area in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to a family that he later said was "middle class on a good day."[2] By his recollection his mother, a secretary, and father, who took any job he could (including that of a for-pay pall bearer), lived paycheck to paycheck.[2][3] Both of his parents were enthusiastic supporters of John F. Kennedy and volunteered for the young scion in the United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 1952.[3]

After by his description Murphy put himself through college with student loans and part-time jobs, he graduated from Harvard University in 1979, where he was president of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, with an A.B. in Economics. He then received an M.B.A. in 1983 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.[1] He and his wife, Tammy, married in the early 1990s and have four children.

Business career[edit]

Murphy had an internship with Goldman Sachs that turned into a regular position following his studying days. From there he worked his way up.

From 1993 to 1997 Murphy headed Goldman Sachs' Frankfurt, Germany office,[3] where he had oversight responsibility for activities in that nation, Switzerland and Austria, as well as in the emerging nations of post-USSR Central Europe. In this capacity, he may have helped privatize the Deutsche Bundespost.[citation needed]

From 1997 to 1999, Murphy served as the President of Goldman Sachs (Asia). In all, he spent 23 years at Goldman Sachs and held a variety of top-level positions before becoming a Senior Director of the firm in 2003, a position he held until his retirement in 2006.[3]

Murphy's position at Goldman Sachs when the firm had its IPO made his net worth top $50 million, or if similar to others there, a good deal more.[4]

Democratic Party finance chair[edit]

After leaving Goldman Sachs, Murphy served from 2006 to 2009 as the National Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) where he worked with DNC Chair Howard Dean.[5] It was Murphy who financed Dean's "50 state strategy."[5]

In all, Murphy says he raised $300 million for the DNC.[3]

Civic activities[edit]

Murphy has been appointed to the boards or committees of various civic or philanthropic groups. Among these are the NAACP,[1] the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the Center for American Progress, 180 Turning Lives Around,[6] and several programs of the University of Pennsylvania, among other entities.

He has helped lead local charities to support troubled teens and domestic abuse survivors. Murphy and his wife founded 2nd Floor, a teen helpline in New Jersey that has helped to save many lives.[1] Additionally, Murphy co-chaired a national task force on 21st century public education. In 2005 he was named by Governor Richard Codey to Chair the New Jersey Benefits Task Force, on public sector employee benefits in his home State of New Jersey, in response to the New Jersey pension crisis.[3][1]

Murphy has served on the boards of the U.S. Soccer Foundation[7] and the U.S. Soccer Federation World Cup Bid Committee. He owns a stake in the professional New Jersey women's soccer club Sky Blue FC.[1]

Murphy moved to in Middletown Township, New Jersey in 2000.[3] He and his family live in a riverside estate with a $200,000 annual property tax bill.[8]

U. S. Ambassador[edit]

Phil Murphy's nomination as United States Ambassador to Germany was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 7, 2009.

Murphy arrived with his family in Berlin on August 21, 2009. That they arrived in an expensive private jet irked German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who saw it as evidence of the long practice of presidents awarding wealthy donors with ambassadorships.[3]

The United States diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks in 2010 contained negative statements signed by Ambassador Murphy about senior German politicians, including a remark by Murphy that Chancellor Merkel was "insecure" and unfavorable comments by embassy staff about Guido Westerwelle, the German foreign minister.[9][3][8] Some German officials spoke of being desirous of Ambassador Murphy being recalled.[3] in response, Murphy appeared on German television outlets such as ZDF in an attempt at performing damage control.[9] Murphy later said that the episode was "incredibly awkward and embarrassing" but that the two countries worked through it and that in the end Germany-United States relations were stronger than ever.[3]

On May 29, 2013, it was announced that Murphy was stepping down from the posting.

Run for Governor[edit]

Murphy was mentioned as a potential candidate in the New Jersey gubernatorial election, 2013, however he declined to run.[10][3]

During 2014 Murphy created New Start New Jersey, a non-profit progressive policy think tank which held a number of events around the New Jersey.[11] It said it would neither endorse nor fund political candidates, as it was barred from doing so.[2][4] However it did serve to raise Phil Murphy's political visibility and its events included an appearance by singer Jon Bon Jovi.[4]

In September 2015, Phil Murphy launched a progressive organization named New Way for New Jersey, which held a number of Town Halls, including some statewide telephonic ones on Sunday evenings, and encouraged Democrats to sign petitions critical of incumbent Governor Chris Christie.[12] Unlike New Start New Jersey, New Way for New Jersey was an explicitly political organization.[13]

Making reference to Governor Christie's presidential campaign and subsequent support and travel on behalf of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, Murphy has implored to Christie, "Do your job or quit."[14]

In May 2016, Phil Murphy announced, via the means of an online video, his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the New Jersey gubernatorial election, 2017.[15][13] In doing so he became the race's first announced candidate.[15][13] He has said of his rationale, "I am running for governor because New Jersey desperately needs adult leadership that puts our people first."[16] Announcing so early was an unusual act.[13] Comparisons with unpopular former governor Jon Corzine, another wealthy former Goldman Sachs executive, is expected to be a challenge Murphy must meet.[8][3][13] A supposedly out-of-touch, plutocratic family holiday letter also came in for some editorial condemnation.[17] Murphy has also begun the campaign with low name visibility among the state's voters.[8] The candidate plans to loan $10 million of his own money to the campaign but to also aggressively fund-raise.[15] However he said he would accept no dark money and that "I’m holding our campaign to a higher standard.."[18]

Following announcement of the campaign, New Way for New Jersey folded.[13] New Start New Jersey continued, albeit without Murphy on its board.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Board Member Philip D. Murphy". Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  2. ^ a b c "Likely Democratic candidate for N.J. governor buys ad touting middle-class". Retrieved 2016-05-17. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ * U.S. Soccer Foundation at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ a b c d
  9. ^ a b German-U.S. Relations Will Survive WikiLeaks — but the Trust Is Gone - Time, 2010
  10. ^
  11. ^ [1] New Start New Jersey
  12. ^ [2] New Way for New Jersey
  13. ^ a b c d e f g
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b c
  16. ^ Campaign mailer, late May 2016.
  17. ^
  18. ^

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