Republican Governors Association – 2013-14

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Chairman  Gov. Chris Christie (NJ)

(elected chair Nov. 21, 2013, succeeding Gov. Bobby Jindal)

Vice Chairman  Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA)

Executive Committee - Chris Christie (NJ), Bobby Jindal (LA); Scott Walker (WI), Rick Scott (FL), Mike Pence (IN), Susana Martinez (NM), Tom Corbett (PA), Nikki Haley (SC), Rick Perry (TX)


Executive Director  Phil Cox

(announced Jan. 3, 2011)  Cox served as a member of the RGA's political team in the 2010 cycle working on states including FL and PA; he was also director of Gov. Bob McDonnell's Opportunity Virginia PAC/senior political advisor to McDonnell.  Campaign manager for Bob McDonnell's successful 2009 campaign for governor of Virginia, then served as transition director. Campaign manager or general consultant to more than one hundred campaigns over the past decade. Graduate of the University of Virginia. Native of Hingham, MA.

Director of Operations  Larissa Ziemann

(started at the RGA in March 2010 as a political assistant, then executive assistant)  M.S. in applied American politics and policy (2009) and B.S. in political science, criminology (2008) from Florida State University.

General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director  Mike Adams

(started as in-house counsel in Jan. 2007)  Also partner at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP since Feb. 2012.  Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General at U.S. DOJ, 2006-07.  Deputy general counsel to Gov. Ernie Fletcher (KY).  Associate at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, 2002-04.  J.D. from Harvard Law School, 2001; B.A. in political science from University of Louisville, 1998.

Governors Liaison and Director of Fundraising Operations  Monica Block

(June 2011)  Scheduler for Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Jan. 2010-mid-2011.  Political assistant/scheduler at McDonnell for Governor, Feb.-Nov. 2009.  B.A. degrees in communication and in government and international politics from George Mason University, 2009.


Communications Director  Gail Gitcho

(announced May 6, 2013)  Senior advisor on Gabriel Gomez's campaign for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts (June 25, 2013).  Communications director at Romney for President, April 2011-Nov. 2012.  Communications director to Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) starting Feb. 2011.  National press secretary for the RNC from May 2009 to Jan. 2010.  Mid-Atlantic communications director for John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid.  Gitcho started the 2008 presidential cycle as a regional press secretary for Romney for President.  Communications director for U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw (R-FL), 2004-07.  Communications director for Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM), 2003-04.  Master's degree in political communications from Colorado State, 2003.  Bachelor's degree in political communications from Ripon College in Wisconsin, 2001.  Originally from San Antonio, TX.  twitter

Press Secretary  Jon Thompson

(started early March 2011)  Director of radio and television at the NRCC in the 2010 cycle.  Press assistant at the RNC, 2007-09.  Degree in political science from UNC Wilmington, 2007.  From North Carolina.  twitter

Deputy Press Secretary  Stacy Day

(Dec. 2013: started as an intern in June)  B.A. in journalism and political science from University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013.  twitter

New Media and Tech

Director of Digital Strategy  Matthew Gagnon

(Jan. 2012)  Previously senior project manager at New Media Strategies, from June 2011.  Director of new media communications for U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, 2010-11.  Deputy director of digital strategy at the NRSC, 2010.  Public affairs analyst at New Media Strategies, Oct. 2008-March 2010. Intelligence analyst at iJET Intelligent Risk Systems, 2006-08. B.S. in political science from University of Maine, 2004.  twitter

Director of Film and Visual Media  Ed Frank

Frank also runs a consulting business, Frank Strategies, LLC.   Most recently vice president of public affairs at Americans for Prosperity.  Additional experience includes spokesman for former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao, press secretary for NFIB, communications director for former U.S. Rep. Van Hilleary and legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr..  Degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Tennessee, 1994.


Political Director  Ken McKay

Chief of staff at the RNC from March 2009-April 2010.  Attorney in private practice and earlier at Brown Rudnick.  Managed Don Carcieri's successful campaigns for governor of Rhode Island in 2002 and 2006; served on the transition team for Gov.-elect Carcieri and as his chief of staff for his first 3 1/2 years in office.  J.D. from Roger Williams University School of Law.  Served in the U.S. Army infantry for three years.    twitter

Deputy Political Director  Amy Lunde

(Feb. 2013)  Campaign manager on Jack Dalrymple's 2012 campaign for governor of North Dakota.  North Dakota Victory Director in 2010.  Member of Arena Strategy Group, 2007-10.  Associate at Ann Taylor Loft, 2008.  Field director on Green for Wisconsin, 2006.  Field rep./regional field director in South Central Wisconsin on Bush-Cheney '04.  B.A. in political science from the University of Wisconsin, 2005.  twitter

Political Assistant  Kelly Holdway

(March 2013)  Scheduler and executive assistant for U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (WI), Jan. 2011-Feb. 2013.  Director of scheduling at the RNC, Jan. 2009-Dec. 2010.  Executive assistant to senior advisor for Elizabeth Dole, including both Senate races, Dec. 2001-Dec. 2008.  Executive assistant to the executive director at the NRSC, Jan. 2005-Dec. 2006.  B.A. in business/corporate communications from Mars Hill College, 2002.

Policy and Research

Research Director  Kevin Wright

(Sept. 2013)  Founder (Spring 2007) and director of Old Dominion Research Group, LLC.  Founder and contributor at ThinkFY, LLC.  Dputy research director at the NRSC, March 2001-Dec. 2006.  Advance/project coordinator for the Center for the American Founding, Jan.-Sept. 2000.  Staff assistant/intern on Quayle 2000/Campaign America, Feb. 1998-July 1999.  B.S. in political science from Arizona State University, 1999.  twitter

Policy Director  Marie Sanderson

(2011)  Director of federal policy (June 2009-Jan. 2012) and policy advisor (Dec. 2006-June 2009 for Gov. Haley Barbour.  Legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (MS), 2003-06.  M.B.A. from University of Queensland, in Brisbane Australia, 2003; undergraduate degree in marketing from Mississippi State University, 2001.  twitter


Finance Director  Paige Lance Hahn

(May 2011)  President of Hahn Group, Inc., funderaising firm since Nov. 2007.  Oversaw the fundraising operations for Bob McDonnell’s 2009 gubernatorial campaign in Virginia and in 2010 helped launch the McDonnell’s Opportunity Virginia PAC.  Finance director at American Solutions for Winning the Future, Feb.-Nov. 2007.  Vice president of sales and business development at the DMA, 2005-07.  Director of corporate development at the US Chamber of Commerce, 2000-05.  Finance director for various political organizations, 1997-2000.  Bachelor's degree in finance from University of Arkansas, Fayatteville, 1996.

Deputy Finance Director  Mary Ann (Voigt) Laconte

(Jan. 2013; Statesmen, Cabinet and Board director from Jan. 2011-Jan. 2013)  Major donor director at the National Republican Congressional Committee. She previously worked with the major donor programs at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the 55th Presidential Inaugural Committee, and the Republican National Committee. She is a native Houstonian and received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Duke University.

Finance Recruitment Director  Caitlin Schroder

Caitlin Mackintosh Schroder, part of the RGA team since 1999, currently serves as National Recruitment Director in the Finance Department.  Before assuming this role, Caitlin served as RGA Finance Director from 2002-2008 and RGA Deputy Finance Director from 1999-2002.  Prior to her time at the RGA, she worked on the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) joint fundraising dinners as well as in the Finance Department of the Republican National Committee (RNC).  Caitlin attended the Catholic University of America, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Politics.

Deputy Director of Recruitment  Lauren Bryan

Previously at the RNC, most recently as emerging markets director in Finance from April 2013; also Chairman's Council director from Jan. 2013;  and deputy director of RNC Regents and Team 100, Aug. 2011-Dec. 2012.  Mid-Atlantic regional surrogate director on Romney for President, April-Nov. 2012.  Finance assistant at the RNC, Sept. 2010-Aug. 2011.  Graduate of the University of South Carolina-Columbia, 2010.

Director of Events, Corporate  Jodi (Vaccarelli) Comunale

(Jan. 2012)  Manager of programs and events at the State Government Affairs Council, 2009-11.  Worked at the Direct Marketing Association, as senior conference manager (2008-09), conference manager (2007-08) and manager of sales and business development (2006-07).  Manager of corporate relations at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2004-08.  B.S. in marketing from Clemson University, College of Business and Behavioral Science, 2004.

Events Coordinator  Justina Rusch

Prior to joining the RGA, she was an intern with Dutko Worldwide in DC and in Gulfport, Mississippi.  She graduated from LSU in Baton Rouge with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication with emphasis in Public Relations.  She is a native of Gulfport, Mississippi.

Director of Board and Council Membership  Scott Binkley

(earlier director of the Governors Roundtable, the corporate membership program)  Prior to joining the RGA in 2013, Scott served as the deputy finance director for a U.S. Senate campaign during the 2012 election cycle and has also served as the finance director for a Congressional campaign. Before leaving DC to work in campaign finance, Scott worked on Capitol Hill as legislative staff. Scott is a native of Atlanta, Georgia.

Governors Board and Council Membership Director  Joanna Evans
at RGA from Sept. 2011)  Prior to joining the RGA, Joanna  spent 7 1/2 years at the national headquarters of the American Red Cross where she managed corporate strategic partnerships, 2004-11.  Data product manager at eMeritus Communications, 2001-04.  Marketing manager at, 2000-01.  Account manager at Eclipse Communications, 1997-98.  Graduate of Arizona State University, 1996.

Executive Roundtable 

Director of Roundtable Membership Program  Jay Shelly

(earlier title "manager of corporate programs and recruitment)  Prior to joining the RGA, Jay worked as a clerk’s assistant at the DC District Court and as an intern  in the Finance Department at the RGA before getting hired full-time. Jay was born in Philadelphia, PA but has lived in Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and New York. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in History.

Midwest and West Membership Director and Conference Director  Cara Edmundowicz

(April 2012; previously deputy director from Jan. 2011) Prior to joining the RGA, Cara worked at a polling firm in DC.  Bachelor's degree in political communication and journalism & mass communication from The George Washington University; Master's degree from GW's Graduate School of Political Management.  Originally from St. Louis, MO.

Regional Recruitment Director and Executive Roundtable Regional Director, Northeast  Alden Wood

(Jan. 2013)  Finance director on Tommy Thompson for Senate, March-Dec. 2012.  Executive Roundtable coordinator at th RGA, Feb. 2011-Feb. 2012.  Staff assistant in Member Services at the RNC, Sept. 2010-Jan. 2011.  B.A. in economics, government from University of Virginia, 2010.

Southern Membership Director  Amy Allman Dean

(May 2012)  Prior to joining RGA, Amy was Vice President of Marketing at Ogilvy Government Relations.  Previously, Dean spent six years working in various positions in The White House for the George W. Bush Administration, including Director of The White House Visitors Office, Associate Director of Legislative Affairs and Staff Assistant in the Office of the Vice President.  Amy also worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as Director of Legislative Affairs and as Special Assistant, Legislative Affairs for the U.S. Department of Treasury.  A native of Dallas, Texas, Dean received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University.

Executive Roundtable Director of Events  Jane Batson

Prior to joining RGA, Jane was Executive Meetings Manager, at the Direct Marketing Association  (DMA).  At the DMA Jane managed all C-level and Board of Directors Events throughout the United States.    Prior to the DMA, she was Conference Services Manager at the Four Seasons where she oversaw State visits and delegations, including visits by the King of Jordan and Dali Lama.  Jane began her career at the US Chamber of Commerce working for the National Chamber Foundation, followed by becoming the Manager of Corporate Programs.  Jane is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA.

Executive Roundtable Coordinator  Danielle (Evans) Cleveland

Prior to joining the RGA, she worked on the Mitt Romney for President campaign as the Wisconsin State Office Manager and served as an intern in the office of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Danielle graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Carthage College and is a native of Madison, Wisconsin.


Chief Financial Officer  Joanne Parker

Operations coordinator at State Policy Network.  Worked for a CPA Firm in Virginia Beach.  Director of compliance at the RGA, 2008-09.  Administrative assistant for the Republican State Leadership Committee.  B.A. in political science from SUNY Geneseo.  Originally from Upstate New York.


General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director  Mike Adams

(started as in-house counsel in Jan. 2007)  Also partner at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP since Feb. 2012.  Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General at U.S. DOJ, 2006-07.  Deputy general counsel to Gov. Ernie Fletcher (KY).  Associate at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, 2002-04.  J.D. from Harvard Law School, 2001; B.A. in political science from University of Louisville, 1998.


Deputy Director of National Recruitment  Amy Burggraf

(Sept. 2011-Oct. 2013) Prior to joining the RGA, she worked on the Tim Pawlenty for President campaign.  Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, she received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Bethel University.

Northeast Membership Director  Neil Scott

Prior to joining the RGA, Neil was the Finance Director of the Scott Brown Victory Committee for Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown’s 2012 reelection campaign, helping to raise a record $39 million.  Before working for Senator Brown, Neil worked as a Finance Coordinator for the Charlie Baker – Richard Tisei campaign in the 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial election.  At native of Massachusetts, Neil graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.