Courtni Pugh is a Partner at Hilltop Public Solutions where she heads all California-based operations for the firm. In this role, she has most recently served as the general consultant for two major statewide races in California – John Chiang for Governor and Kevin de Leon for U.S. Senate. She also served as a lead strategist for Alex Villanueva for Los Angeles County Sheriff where she helped deliver a historic upset to the incumbent and elect the first Democrat to serve as Sheriff in modern LA history.
Prior to the 2018 cycle, she served as Senior Political Advisor for CA Senate President pro tem Kevin de Leon and CA Deputy State Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 bid for president.
In addition to electoral politics, Pugh is also the lead on Hilltop’s policy and issue-based campaigns and projects throughout the state.
Before joining Hilltop, Pugh served as Executive Director of SEIU Local 99. In this post, she helped lead negotiations for a landmark increase in the minimum wage for Los Angeles Unified School District employees. Hailed as a significant victory in the nationwide “Fight for $15,” the wage increase capped Courtni’s impressive career as the head of the local.
In other positions, Pugh served as Political Director of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. She was the first woman and first Asian America to serve in this post. She also served as Executive Director of the SEIU California State Council, and in 2010 played a key role in running labor’s independent expenditure campaign in support of Jerry Brown for Governor, including overseeing outreach to Hispanic Voters through Cambiando California.
A veteran political strategist and community organizer, Pugh has managed numerous multi-million dollar independent expenditure campaigns in California. She began her career as a field organizer in Oakland, California. She later held senior posts in the presidential campaigns of John Edwards for President, Kerry-Edwards 2004, and Gore-Lieberman 2000. She has also served as Legislative Director for U.S. Congressman Danny Davis in Washington D.C.
She has consistently been featured in the Capitol weekly’s top 100 influencers in California.
Pugh holds a B.A. in political science from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.