Republican Governors Association – 2016

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Chairman  Gov. Susana Martinez (NM)
(elected chair Nov. 19, 2015)  Elected in Nov. 2010 and re-elected in Nov. 2014.  Elected District Attorny for the 3rd Judicial District in Doña Ana County, NM in 1996 and served three terms to Jan. 2011.  Deputy district attorney; Assistant district attorney for New Mexico's 3rd Judicial District.  J.D. from University of Oklahoma College of Law, 1986.  Bachelor's degree in criminal justice from University of Texas at El Paso.

Vice Chairman  Gov. Scott Walker (W))

Executive Committee - Govs. Bill Haslam (TN), Rick Scott (FL), Mike Pence (IN), Nikki Haley (SC), Mary Fallin (OK), Doug Ducey (AZ), Charlie Baker (MA), and Pete Ricketts (NE).


Executive Director  Paul Bennecke

(announced Dec. 2, 2014)  Advisor on David Perdue's successful campaign for U.S. Senate in 2014.  Principal at ConnectSouth, a public affairs firm; and part of the Georgia lobbying team at Capitol Resources.  Founding principal of Red Clay Strategies, a public affairs and issue advocacy firm.  RGA deputy executive director and political director from 2007-10.  Executive director and earlier political director of the Georgia Republican Party, 2003-06.  Political director on Sonny Perdue's 2002 campaign in Georgia when he defeated incumbent governor Roy Barnes.  twitter

Governor's Liaison  Justina Rusch

(announced Jan. 27, 2015)  Previously events coordinator at the RGA from July 2012.  Experience includes internship with Dutko Worldwide in DC and in Gulfport, Mississippi.  Bachelor's degree in mass communication from LSU in Baton Rouge, 2012.  Native of Gulfport, MS.

Director of Operations  Laura Ciciarelli

(announced Jan. 27, 2015)  Started at the RGA as an executive intern in May 2013 and executive assistant from May 2014, organizing the internship program and assisting the Governors Liaison with the coordination of meetings and conferences.  Bachelor's degree in political science and Spanish from Wake Forest University.  Native of Wall, NJ.

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.

Senior Advisor to the RGA  Brian Sanderson

(2015)  Policy director for the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) and its 501c(4) The Rule of Law Defense Fund, 2014-15.  President of Cardinal Group, LLC, 2013-15.  Attorney at Brunini Grantham Grower & Hewes, 2010013.  President of the Gold Coast Business Council, 2006-10.  Deputy director of the Office of Recovery and Renewal under Miss. Gov. Haley Barbour, 2005-06.  Attorney at Butler Snow LLP, 1999-2005.  J.D. from University of Mississippi Law School; B.B.A. from University of Mississippi.


Political Director  David Rexrode

(announced Jan. 27, 2015)  Campaign manager on Cuccinelli for Governor, Jan.-Nov. 2013.  Executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia Jan.  2010-Dec. 2012 and also served as Virginia RNC Victory director in 2012.  Deputy campaign manager on Attorney General Bob McDonnell's successful 2009 campaign for Governor of Virginia.  Campaign manager on Bob Goodlatte for Congress, Feb.-Nov. 2008.  Coalitions director on John McCain 2008 to July 2007.  Director of coalitions at the RNC starting in 2005.  Deputy director of coalitions for the Central Region for Bush-Cheney '04.  Graduate of James Madison University, 2001; while at James Madison managed Randy Fisher's first campaign for Augusta County sheriff.  Native of Augusta County, VA (Waynesboro area).  twitter

Deputy Political Director  Mike Young

Executive director (2015 election cycle) and political director (2013-14) of the Virginia Senate Republican Caucus.  Double major in government and history from the College of William and Mary, 2016.


Communications Director  Jon Thompson

(announced Jan. 27, 2015)  Promoted from RGA press secretary; served in that role since 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  Alison Caliguire

(July 2016)  Policy analyst (from Jan. 2016), policy aide (Jan.-Dec. 2015) and intern (June 2014-Jan. 2015) for the Republican Governors Association/Republican Governors Public Policy Committee (RGPPC).  B.A. in politics and international affairs from Wake Forest University, 2014.

New Media and Tech

Digital???  Data???

Policy and Research

Research Director  ???

Policy Director  Janel Broderick

(announced July 22, 2015, succeeding Marie Sanderson)  Previously director of policy and federal relations for Gov. Martinez.  Deputy executive director and communications director for the Republican Party of New Mexico.  Policy analyst for former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle.  Several years in the non-profit sector throughout India, the South Pacific, Asia, and Russia.  Woked for U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens (AK).  M.A. from Indiana University; B.A. from the University of Southern Mississippi.  Alaska native.


Finance Director  Mary Ann Laconte

(announced Jan. 27, 2015)  Deputy finance director at the RGA in the 2014 cycle from Jan. 2013; director of the RGA's Statesmen and Cabinet membership programs, Jan. 2011-Jan. 2013.  Previously worked with the major donor programs at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the 55th Presidential Inaugural Committee, and the Republican National Committee.  B.A. in economics from Duke University.  Native Houstonian.

Executive Roundtable Deputy Director  Danielle (Evans) Cleveland

Prior to joining the RGA, Cleveland 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.

Executive Roundtable Regional Director  Nicole Dziuban

Prior to joining the RGA, Dziuban served as the Western Regional Finance Director for Governor Chris Christie’s presidential campaign. In 2015, she served as Regional Finance Director for the Leadership Matters for America PAC. Previously, Nicole was the Finance Director for the Colorado Republican Committee from 2013-2015. She has also fundraised for multiple congressional races. Nicole is a Chicago native and graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

Executive Roundtable Coordinator  Mike Felici

Previously worked as the Accounts Receivable and Front Desk Manager and as a finance intern for the organization. Prior to joining the RGA, Felici interned at the Republican National Committee and with Governor Chris Christie’s presidential campaign. He is a native of Washington Township, New Jersey and a graduate of American University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Minor in History.

Director of Statesmen and Cabinet Membership Programs  Amanda Kitchen

Prior to joining the RGA,  Kitchen worked for Hooks Solutions, a political fundraising firm in Washington, DC.  As a Senior Associate at Hooks Solutions, Amanda handled all PAC fundraising as well as some national fundraising for Chairman Michael McCaul, Chairman Ken Calvert, Congressman Chris Gibson and Congressman Robert Hurt. Before moving to DC, Amanda worked for the American Cancer Society in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she helped manage the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk.  After the walk was complete, she worked as a Community Manager for ACS managing the Relay for Life events for Duke University, North Carolina State University, and two county Relays. Amanda graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Communications and she is a native of Richmond, Virginia.

Director of Events and Programming  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 Manager  Melissa Peskin

Joined the RGA as Events Manager after serving on the events team at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. At AIPAC, she was responsible for multiple national events and conferences and played a large role in the annual Policy Conference. Melissa is a Parkland, Florida native and graduated from the University of Florida in 2012.

Events Coordinator  Juliette Crowther

Prior to joining the RGA, Crowther interned in the office of Louisiana Congressman John Fleming. Degree in political science and French from Tulane University in New Orleans.  Shreveport, Louisiana native.

Finance Assistant  Ashleigh Oxner

Prior to joining the RGA, Ashleigh worked for two years in the private sector as an Event Planner where she planned both corporate and political events. Ashleigh is a South Carolina native and graduated from Clemson University in 2014 with a major in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.


Chief Financial Officer  Cortlynn Parkinson

(Feb. 2015)  Partner at OCTR Services [Online Contribution Tracking Reporting], March 2013-Feb. 2015; self-employed FEC compliance consulting, Feb. 2011-Feb. 2015.  Accounts receivable and FEC compliance manager at the NRSC, April 2008-Feb. 2011.  B.A. in communications from Thiel College, 2008.


General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director  Mike Adams

(see above)


"The Republican Governors Public Policy Committee (RGPPC) serves as the official policy arm of the Republican Governors Association (RGA). Bringing together 31 Republican governors from statehouses across the country, the RGPPC is committed to shaping public policy debates at the state and federal levels of government. To that end, we highlight best practices among states and promote the successful policies of Republican- ed states—states which continue to dominate the rankings as the best for business, job creation, and education reform. The RGPPC is organized under section 501 (c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code."

Chair  Gov. Mary Fallin (OK)

Policy Director  Janel Broderick

General Counsel  Brian Sanderson

Policy Advisor  Lauren Strickland

Focuses on healthcare and education policy, as well as a variety of other issue areas. Prior to joining RGPPC, she worked at the Education Delivery Institute, serving as a consultant to K-12 and higher education systems across the country. Legislative staffer for U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III.  Bachelor's degree in history from Duke University.  Native of Kopperston, WV.

Policy Advisor  Erin Adams

Focuseson labor, budget & tax, economic development and cybersecurity issues.  Legislative staffer for U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble (WI).  Manager of Membership Development and Advocacy for The ERISA Industry Committee.  B.A. in Communication, Legal Institutions, Economics and Government from American University.


Accounts Receivable and Front Desk Manager  Eric Powell

Previously junior associate at 50 State LLC.  B.A. in international studies from American University, 2014.  Cleveland native.


I.E. Director  ???