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Richard Costigan, CalPERS Representative

Richard Costigan, State Personnel Board CalPERS Representative

Mr. Costigan of Sacramento was appointed in 2007, and reelected to serve as the Board’s representative on the CalPERS Board for 2017. Mr. Costigan currently is the Senior Director of State and Government Affairs for the national law and consulting firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. His practice focuses on legislative and government relations. He has substantial experience in state government, legislative affairs and public policy, concentrating on issues such as energy and natural resources, business, transportation, infrastructure, housing and tax matters. He has been extensively involved in the creation, implementation and dissemination of numerous legislative public policy and budget proposals.

Before rejoining Manatt and being appointed to the SPB, Mr. Costigan served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Affairs Secretary for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Mr. Costigan was directly involved in all aspects of policy development and legislative strategy for Governor Schwarzenegger, including the Governor’s historic reform of California’s workers’ compensation system, the rollback of increased vehicle licensing fees, the increase in the state’s minimum wage, and the groundbreaking "Million Solar Roofs" Initiative.

His responsibilities included being the liaison between the Governor, the Legislature and California’s many agencies and departments on policy development and implementation. In this role, and with the support of the team he managed in the Governor’s Legislative Affairs Unit, Mr. Costigan was successful in obtaining the Legislature’s bipartisan approval of the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), the largest voter-approved infrastructure investment package in California history totaling $42.7 billion (Propositions 1A - 1E), the Economic Recovery Bond Act (Proposition 57), and the California Balanced Budget Act (Proposition 58).

Mr. Costigan served as the Governor’s chief negotiator with the Legislature and was responsible for developing and overseeing the Governor’s legislative agenda and advising the Governor on all pending legislation and issues before the Legislature. He worked with over 70 agencies and departments on legislative and policy matters. He had extensive interaction with Agency Secretaries, extensive involvement in the state budget process, communications and external affairs.

Mr. Costigan and his unit handled the confirmation process for the Governor’s appointees and successfully handled the unanimous bipartisan confirmation of a statewide constitutional officer.

Mr. Costigan also served in the Legislative Branch, where he has the rare distinction to have been Chief of Staff to two different Republican leaders in the State Assembly, where he oversaw all aspects of the caucus operations, including policy, budget and communications. Additionally, Mr. Costigan held the position of Director of Policy for the Assembly Republican Caucus’s policy unit and Chief Policy Advisor to the Republican leadership. Prior to those positions, Mr. Costigan held the position of Principal Consultant to the Assembly and Budget committees, focusing on transportation, environmental, local government, insurance, labor and employment issues. Mr. Costigan credits his work with the Legislature and in the private sector with preparing him to assume the legislative policy responsibilities for Governor Schwarzenegger on day one of the Schwarzenegger Administration.

In the private sector Mr. Costigan was Vice President of Government Relations and Chief Policy Advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of the Chamber’s public policy agenda. At the Chamber he led major coalitions, testified before the Legislature on issues ranging from mandatory healthcare to minimum wage, oversaw the Chamber’s professional advocacy staff and served on the Chamber’s executive management team. While at the Chamber he had extensive interaction with the media, including appearances on CNNfn, CNN, radio and print.

Prior to 1996 Mr. Costigan was actively engaged in the practice of law in Georgia, where his practice focused on business defense, creditor bankruptcy and family law. He practiced before both state and federal courts.

Mr. Costigan has been extensively quoted in newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Sacramento Bee, The San Jose Mercury News and other statewide and national papers. He has appeared on television programs and has been a guest on numerous radio shows throughout California. He was profiled in The Sacramento Bee, the University of Georgia alumni magazine and Prosper Magazine.

Mr. Costigan was also a Senior Legislative Advocate for Manatt when he first left the position of Chief of Staff to the Assembly Republican Leader.


Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, Ala., J.D., 1991.

The University of Georgia, B.A., Dean's List, 1988.

Memberships & Activities

Admitted to practice in Florida and Georgia.

Chair, Placer County, Civil Service Commission (1996-2003).

Member, Northern California Cancer Society Advisory Board.

Member, Board of Directors, USC School of Public Policy, Sacramento.

Member, Board of Directors of the California Museum for Women, Arts & History