TRENTON: The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) is thrilled to announce that we’ve found our new Executive Director. After an exhaustive nationwide talent search for a new Executive Director, vetting over 60 qualified candidates, one name rose to the top—Robert A. Nixon. Mr. Nixon has made a name for himself as one of New Jersey’s leading legislative lobbyists and strategists. He’s the founder and President of State House Strategies, a government affairs consulting firm. He also serves as Director of Government Affairs for the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association, New Jersey’s largest law enforcement officer union.
“I am excited to help lead the RFA into the future, both as an avid saltwater fisherman and as a public policy professional,” Mr. Nixon says. “I think we can accomplish great things, and I can’t wait to see where we can go.”
Robert T. Healey, Jr, RFA Chairman of the Board of Directors added, “Rob’s got the right blend of experience and industry knowledge to be successful as the RFA’s ED. I’m proud to stand with him in advocating for anglers’ rights and helping to stem the tide of overreaching government regulations.”
Nixon began his career in New Jersey government in 1993 as a political consultant and legislative aide to a number of elected officials and candidates, including former State Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Bill Gormley. Prior to and since becoming a lobbyist he has managed or advised on a variety of municipal, State Senate, General Assembly, and Congressional races in New Jersey.
No stranger to fighting for the rights of recreational fishermen and boaters, Mr. Nixon has previously represented the RFA as a lobbyist in Trenton and was responsible for the enactment of the law prohibiting the commercial fishing of menhaden in state waters and numerous other pro-fishing bills. Since 2002 he has been the lobbyist for the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey and has led the charge for pro-boating laws like the sales tax cut, the protection of marinas under “Public Access” rules, the elimination of regulations on boat manufacturing and other critical issues. A passionate saltwater fisherman, Nixon enjoys backcountry fishing in the Florida Keys and surf fishing here at home.
Mr. Nixon is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority which oversees the State’s multi-billion-dollar school construction program. He was named Chairman of the Board of Directors by Governor Murphy in December of 2018 and he also serves as the Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Authority. He was also recently appointed by the Governor as one of the seven members of the New Jersey Personalized Handgun Authorization Commission.
He received his undergraduate degree in Politics from Saint Joseph’s University and a Master’s Degree in Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania where he currently serves as an instructor teaching a course on Government Relations and as a Capstone Advisor at Penn’s Fels Institute of Government. Rob was honored with the Faculty of the Year award at the Institute’s commencement in 2013 and 2016.