First Lady of NEW JERSEY

Meet Tammy

Tammy's Story


Tammy is a lifelong advocate for women and families and a leader in climate change and improving maternal and infant health. She began her career in international finance and has worked at the intersections of the environment, education, and health care to make life better for Americans.

Born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1965, Tammy Snyder Murphy is a 1987 graduate of the University of Virginia from which she earned her B.A. in English and Communications. She served as Vice President of the College and Vice Chair of the Honor Committee. The youngest of five children, Tammy’s mother was born in Great Britain and immigrated to the U.S. with Tammy’s father after he completed his service in the U.S. Air Force. 

Tammy worked on Wall Street in the late 80’s at Goldman Sachs then relocated to Europe where she worked for Smith Barney and Investcorp. She lived overseas for 15 years – in London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, and Berlin. She has traveled extensively throughout the world, including nine visits to Israel. Tammy speaks German and some Italian.

“We have big, complicated issues and solving them won’t be easy, but you know what? Nothing worth doing ever is. I’m ready to work every day in the United States Senate for you, your family, and our country.”

Tammy Murphy signature

Tammy and New Jersey Governor Philip D. Murphy have been married for 30 years, have four children, Josh, Emma, Charlie and Sam, and reside in Monmouth County, NJ.  A transformative experience for the Murphy family was proudly representing the United States in the Federal Republic of Germany from 2009 to 2013. Tammy, individually and together with her husband, spoke and led on behalf of the United States of America. She chaired meetings, gave speeches, and played an important role in strengthening our nation’s relationship with a critical ally. Tammy’s role cemented lifelong relationships with leaders across government, military, business, academia, media and the arts, while positively impacting the lives of thousands of Americans and Germans.

For decades, Tammy has worked with non-profits, think-tanks, and other organizations focused on the environment, education, health care, youth and family services, the arts and trans-Atlantic relations. She serves currently as a charter member of The Climate Reality Action Fund and Board Member of The Climate Reality Project, organizations founded by former Vice-President Al Gore. She also serves as Director of the American Council on Germany, Board Member of the American Friends of the Munich Security Conference and Chair of NJ/NY Gotham FC, the women’s professional NWSL soccer team for the NY/NJ region. 

Tammy has worked at soup kitchens and shelters, done beach sweeps and organized fundraising initiatives on behalf of many community organizations. She has served on many boards, including: Co-founder and Chair of 2nd Floor (a youth hotline in New Jersey); Member of the Board of Visitors at the University of Virginia; Chair of Monmouth Medical Center Foundation; Director of the University of Virginia Health System; and as Trustee of multiple institutions including: Monmouth Conservation Foundation; the Count Basie Theatre; The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University; The College Foundation at the University of Virginia; Phillips Academy; and the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies.

In 2020, Tammy founded and chaired the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, which was created to meet critical needs during COVID-19 and raised and leveraged over $88 million. She oversaw the disbursement of the funds across New Jersey to provide critical support and investment in food security, child care, learning loss and digital connectivity in schools, personal protective equipment and mental health counseling. The fund also supported those struggling to keep their doors open, whether it was through eviction relief or support of the arts community and small women- and minority-owned businesses. The fund also provided nearly $12 million to undocumented immigrants who were left out of government assistance programs during the pandemic.

As First Lady of New Jersey, Tammy launched the Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health program to root out the institutional racism that Black and brown women face in pregnancy and childbirth and to reduce preventable deaths. Under Tammy’s leadership, in just six years, New Jersey has moved from 47th in the nation for maternal deaths to 27th. She also played a critical role in making New Jersey the 2nd state in the nation to expand Medicaid coverage for women a full year after childbirth – guaranteeing health care for nearly 9,000 mothers annually across the state. Tammy was instrumental in working with the Legislature to pass over 60 pieces of legislation related to maternal and infant health.

“I’m so proud that New Jersey is now a safer place to give birth to a child. But we’ve also worked tirelessly to make it a great place to raise a child.”

Tammy Murphy signature

Tammy also led the charge to put in place a climate change curriculum in K-12 schools, making New Jersey the first and only state in the nation to do so. She also works with the New Jersey Council on the Green Economy to transition New Jersey to renewable energy and train workers for good-paying jobs in the growing clean energy economy.

Partnering with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Tammy launched a chapter of Golden Seeds, a national angel investor network designed to support female and minority entrepreneurs. In addition, Tammy has worked on economic development for the state, pitching corporate investment and jobs for New Jersey, both around the United States and overseas in: Germany, Israel, India, France, Ireland, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. She has helped bring film, digital and TV activity to New Jersey, encouraged the expansion of the green economy and helped with the renovation of Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport. Most importantly, Tammy has fought every day to protect reproductive rights and lift up marginalized communities across the state.