SACRAMENTO—Donna Lucas, who heads the national public affairs operations of Porter Novelli, is taking a leave of absence to serve as deputy chief of staff to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lucas, who has long been active in Republican politics in Sacramento, recently advised Maria Shriver as she became the state’s First Lady.
Lucas will advise for strategic planning and initiatives and will oversee the governor’s office of special projects, while continuing to work with Shriver. She will be paid $123,000 a year.
“Donna is widely respected in the community for her incredible work, insight and expertise, and that’s a great addition to my staff,” Schwarzenegger said in a prepared statement. “Her professional success as a leader in the public affairs field and her communications background will be invaluable to me.”
Before being named head of the firm’s consolidated public affairs practice earlier this year, Lucas oversaw Porter Novelli’s offices in Sacramento, Irvine and San Diego. Before that, she was CEO and president of Nelson Communications Group, which Porter acquired in 2000. She has run several statewide ballot campaigns on issues such bas housing, water, education and government reform.