Catherine Tung, a senior adviser to Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and the former associate executive director of the Assembly Majority Office, has joined McCarter & English as a member of its Government Affairs practice, the firm announced Friday.
Tung is a highly regarded government affairs professional, but she is not licensed to practice law. Her arrival was praised by Guillermo Artiles, the Government Affairs practice chair at the firm.
“We are excited to add Catherine to our growing team,” he said. “She is well-known in Trenton and beyond, and her strong reputation and experience at the highest levels of the state Legislature make her an invaluable resource. Our clients will benefit greatly from her experience and insight into working with legislators and policymakers.”
Bill Palatucci, a partner with McCarter & English, agreed.
“With Catherine, we increase the diversity of our already impressive Government Affairs team,” he said. “She has been an incredible asset to the New Jersey Assembly, and we could not be more thrilled to have her bring her experience and strategic acumen to our practice.”
Tung began her career in government as a policy analyst and quickly moved up in the ranks, earning a reputation as a skilled advocate. In her role as the associate executive director, Tung worked closely with legislators and stakeholders on both sides of the aisle to develop sound and inclusive public policy pertaining to a multitude of areas, such as sports betting, tax incentive programs, liquor license reform and water infrastructure. She also represented members in meetings with advocates, community leaders, interest groups, the Senate and the executive branch, and advised about policy initiatives, legislation development and strategic messaging to advance caucus priorities.
During her tenure in the Assembly, Tung served as a staff member on the Commerce and Economic Development; Environment and Solid Waste; Community Development and Affairs; Budget; Housing; Natural Resources and Infrastructure; Telecommunications and Utilities; Science, Technology and Innovation; and Tourism, Gaming and the Arts committees.
Earlier in her career, Tung gained valuable experience by serving as education and government affairs coordinator for the New Jersey Apartment Association. She worked with developers, managers and owners and was responsible for professional development and advocacy efforts on behalf of association members.
“I am honored to join such a talented and respected group at McCarter,” she said. “This firm has long been the standard against which others have been measured, and I am excited to have the opportunity to leverage my experience to help the firm’s clients.”
Her hire was lauded by two key members of the Legislature.
“As the only AAPI member of the state Senate, I am pleased by the announcement that Catherine Tung will be joining McCarter & English, as it demonstrates the firm’s commitment to a diverse government affairs team,” Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Ocean Twp.) said.
“Catherine is a well-respected professional with a wealth of knowledge, and her unique perspective will certainly be an asset to the firm.”
Assembly Budget Chair Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Newark) agreed.
“From advancing key economic development legislation to helping me prepare for state budget hearings, Catherine has been a valued member of the team — not only to myself but to all members of the Assembly Democratic caucus,” she said. “It has been an absolute pleasure to watch her grow from a young policy analyst to a senior adviser, and I am thrilled for her to be taking this next step.”
McCarter Managing Partner Joseph Boccassini said the firm is thrilled to have her.
“Catherine is an integral part of the ongoing expansion of our Government Affairs capabilities,” he said. “Her unique understanding of the New Jersey legislative and regulatory landscape will be a great asset to our clients.”