Banasiak joining Kaufman Zita Group as VP

Well-known and highly regarded public affairs specialist was serving as governor’s director of legislative affairs

Paulina Banasiak, a top aide to Gov. Phil Murphy who is a well-known and highly respected public affairs specialist, is joining Kaufman Zita Group as a vice president, the firm announced Monday morning.

Banasiak, who has extensive experience in legislative affairs and state government, will utilize her knowledge and expertise to provide advocacy, strategic planning and direct lobbying services to clients, KZG Principal Trish Zita said.

“Paulina is well-known and well-respected throughout the state of New Jersey and across the political spectrum,” Zita said. “We believe her extensive experience in legislative affairs, her broad knowledge of state government and her high-level relationships with key decision-makers will be invaluable to our clients.

“We’re thrilled to have Paulina join us and bring her talent and expertise to our team.”

Banasiak has worked for the Murphy administration in a variety of roles since the governor’s inauguration in January 2018.

She most recently served as the director of legislative affairs and acting deputy chief of staff. Prior to that, she was a senior legislative aide.

Since the start of the administration, Banasiak has been involved in advancing and developing the governor’s legislative policy priorities, including helping on bills related to the environment, clean energy, gun violence prevention, economic tax incentives, online sports gaming and the legalization of cannabis.

Banasiak also was involved in crafting the governor’s state budget proposal, preparing cabinet officials for confirmation and legislative committees, and the appointments process. She also served as the governor’s appointee on the Commission on Capital Budgeting and Planning.

Prior to joining the Murphy administration, Banasiak was the chief of staff to Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City) and served as director of legislation for former Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle.

Banasiak received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Montclair State University and her master’s degree in Social Work from Rutgers University.