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Brian Strom

No. 2: Brian Strom

As the pandemic took hold in New Jersey, the chancellor of Rutgers School of Biomedical and Health Sciences took a leading role in the state's contact tracing program along with its study on COVID-19’s effect on health care workers,

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Presenting the 2021 NJBIZ Education Power 50

Someday, in what everyone hopes will be the not-too-distant future, NJBIZ will publish a power list that does not reflect the exigencies of a deadly global pandemic. That day has not arrived and the selections for this year’s Education Power 50, especially the top 10, were influenced by the ongoing public health emergency.

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Sean Spiller, president, NJEA.

No. 10: Sean Spiller

He's the new president of the New Jersey Education Association, a union perhaps unmatched in power among labor groups. As head of the state’s largest teacher’s union, he'll channel that power from offices directly across the street from the Statehouse in Trenton.

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Perry Halkitis, dean, Rutgers University's School of Public Health.

No. 1: Perry Halkitis

In the early days of the pandemic, the dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health was handpicked by the Murphy administration to lead the effort to trace the spread of the virus. In the months since, he's become one of the leading sources of information about the pandemic and the efforts to bring it to an end.

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Jonathan Holloway, president, Rutgers University.

No. 5: Jonathan Holloway

His timeline is extraordinary: He was appointed president of Rutgers University in January 2020, just months before the onset of the pandemic. Then in late July that year he took the reins of a mostly barren campus, with students, faculty and staff practicing social distancing and remote-learning from their homes.

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Robert Johnson, dean, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick

No. 3: Robert Johnson

As interim dean of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School since 2019 and dean of the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School since 2011, he is the first leader in history to oversee two medical schools at once.

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Dr. Annette Reboli receives her vaccination from medical student Nicholas Daroshefski.

No. 4: Annette C. Reboli

She's dean of Cooper Medical School in Camden, one of the most competitive medical schools in the country that, moreover, is part of the so-called “Eds and Meds” strategy being employed in the city, based on the theory that health care and higher education can serve as key anchor institutions to revitalize the struggling economy.

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