Luke Macaulay: Poise under fire 

As the former press secretary for the Northern California U.S. Attorney, Luke Macaulay has mastered the art of staying composed under pressure — a skill developed by the near-endless parade of high-profile cases he handled during his three years at the position.

"They were looking for a high-energy guy who could handle a lot of tasks, and I pretty much fit that bill," said Macaulay, who graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in Liberal Studies. "That said, I waspretty much thrown into the fire as the new guy handling the job."

Macaulay became public affairs officer for U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan in 2004, after a two-year stint working in Capitol Hill as a press secretary for the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

"I worked in San Francisco for a month for the Justice Department in their antitrust case against the Oracle Corporation," Macaulay said. "When I was offered the position to work out here permanently, I jumped all over it."

As a spokesperson for Ryan, Macaulay helped mediate a series of major cases, including the BALCO steroids case and the Northern California stock options backdating scandal that involved several high-profile Bay Area companies.

"You could just feel the electricity with some of these cases," Macaulay said. "We were the first in the country to indict executives [from Brocade Communications] with backdating stock options. The commissioner from the Securities Exchange Commission came to testify — you could definitely sense the importance of the event."

Macaulay was in line for even more media exposure in early 2007, when Ryan submitted his resignation alongside several other U.S. attorneys across the country, drawing accusations of politicking by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

With the departure of Ryan, Macaulay felt the time was right to move on from the public sector to try his hand in the private field. After a short search, he decided to join Hill and Knowlton, a worldwide public relations firms with a branch office in San Francisco.

"I thought this was a great opportunity to pursue a new challenge in my career," Macaulay said. "Hill and Knowlton have challenging clients and they deal with the big issues. I’m excited to work here, grow and develop a team, and continue to evolve with my work."

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Will Reisman

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