To contact a member of the RGA staff, please send an email to: info@rga.org

 

Mike Adams – General Counsel

A graduate of the University of Louisville and Harvard Law School, Mike has served the RGA as General Counsel since January 2007. In addition to law firm practice, Mike has served in a number of political and governmental positions, including Deputy General Counsel to a Republican governor, and Counsel to the U.S. Deputy Attorney General


Josh Boyer – Senior Research Analyst

Prior to joining the RGA, Joshua worked as a Research Analyst with the National Republican Congressional Committee and with Freedom Partners’ Competitive Intelligence department. He is a native of south central Pennsylvania and graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.


John Burke – Deputy Communications Director

John serves as Deputy Communications Director in the RGA’s communications department. Prior to joining the RGA, John was the Director of Rapid Response for the Nevada Republican Party during the 2016 election cycle and also served as a War Room Analyst for Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign. John is a graduate of George Washington University where he majored in International Affairs. He grew up in Manhattan Beach, California, becoming a die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan.

@JBurkeNation


Erim Canligil  Chief Financial Officer

Erim Canligil became the RGA’s Chief Financial Officer in 2017. He began his career in Campaign Finance shortly after earning his B.A. from Purdue University in 2008. He worked at the National Republican Congressional Committee from 2008-2015 while simultaneously earning his J.D. from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. Upon graduation, he was licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. Erim is a native of Queens, NY.


Daniel Chiasson – Director of Tracking

Prior to joining the RGA, Daniel worked at the National Republican Congressional Committee during the 2012, 2014, and 2016 election cycles, running the Video Tracking program for the last four years there. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended the University of Richmond, where he studied History and Russian Studies.


Laura Ciciarelli – Chief Operating Officer & Governors Liaison

Laura Ciciarelli is assuming the roles of Chief Operating Officer and Governors Liaison after spending the last four years as Director of Operations, a role in which she managed the RGA’s Human Resources, helped to manage and track the organization’s multiple budgets and provided the Executive Director, the governors and their staff with comprehensive support in order to run an effective and successful organization. Laura is a graduate of Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC with a Bachelor’s Degree in political science and Spanish. She is a native of Wall, New Jersey.


Jodi Comunale – Director of Events & Programming

Jodi Comunale joined the RGA in 2012 as Director of Events & Programming.  Prior to joining RGA, Jodi was Manager, Programs & Events at the State Government Affairs Council (SGAC) where she programmed and executed two Annual Conferences along with numerous other networking and educational events throughout the year.  Prior to SGAC, Jodi was Senior Conference Manager at the Direct Marketing Association where she oversaw a portfolio of conferences.  Jodi began her career at the US Chamber of Commerce working in the fundraising department. Jodi is a 2004 graduate of Clemson University in South Carolina where she majored in Marketing with a concentration in Communications.


Casey Dietrich – Senior Research Analyst

Prior to coming to the RGA, Casey worked as a Research Analyst at the National Republican Congressional Committee for the 2016 cycle. Before the NRCC, she worked as a Researcher for Freedom Partners. Casey graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 2012, where she majored in Political Science, German, and History.


Yaron Eisenberg – Research Director

Prior to joining the RGA, Yaron worked for Freedom Partners. He holds degrees from Bowdoin College, University of St. Andrews, and University of Connecticut School of Law.


Amanda Elliott – Head of Content Strategy

Prior to joining the RGA, Amanda worked at the NRA-Institute for Legislative Action. There, she managed the social media strategy for the 2016 election cycle and coordinated digital efforts around the NRA’s national and state-based legislative priorities. Her background also includes stints at CRC Digital, The Daily Caller, and National Journal’s Hotline. Amanda is a native of Greenville, S.C., and graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Political Science and a minor in journalism.


Mike Felici – Finance Coordinator

Mike Felici, Executive Roundtable Coordinator for the RGA, previously worked as the Accounts Receivable and Front Desk Manager and as a finance intern for the organization. Prior to joining the RGA, Mike 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.


Justina Hulen – Governors Liaison

Justina became RGA Governors Liaison after spending the past two years as the RGA Events Coordinator, helping organize numerous RGA events, meetings and conferences. Justina is a graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge with a Bachelor’s Degree in mass communication. She is a native of Gulfport, Mississippi.


Libby Krueger – Events Manager

Libby comes to the RGA with prior experience in corporate event planning and fundraising in DC. Libby has experience with executing a range of events such as annual meetings, corporate fly-ins, corporate holiday parties, investor meetings and fundraisers. Prior to that, Libby was a paralegal in Corporate Law at an international firm in DC where she learned contract negotiation and analysis while forming and dissolving corporations. Libby is a 2015 graduate of the College of Charleston in South Carolina where she majored in International Relations and European Studies and is a native of Grosse Pointe, Michigan.


Mary Ann Laconte – Finance Director

Mary Ann became RGA Finance Director after serving as the Deputy Finance Director for the RGA and Director of the RGA’s Statesmen and Cabinet membership programs. Prior to joining the RGA four years ago, Mary Ann was the Major Donor Director at the National Republican Congressional Committee, and also worked with the major donor programs at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the 55th Presidential Inaugural Committee, and the Republican National Committee. Mary Ann is a native of Houston, Texas and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Duke University.


Amanda O’Malley – Director of Corporate Memberships

Amanda served as the RGA’s Director of Statesmen and Cabinet membership programs during the 2016 and 2018 cycles. Prior to the RGA, Amanda developed extensive PAC, congressional, and national fundraising experience as a Senior Associate at Hooks Solutions, where she worked closely in roles with then-House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, Congressman Sean Duffy, Congressman Ken Calvert, then-Congressman Chris Gibson, and then-Congressman Robert Hurt. O’Malley is a native of Richmond, Virginia, and earned her B.A. in Communication at East Carolina University.


Eric Powell – Deputy CFO & Director of Operations

Before joining the RGA, Eric was a Junior Associate at 50 State LLC. He graduated from American University in 2014 with a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Arab Studies. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.


Dave Rexrode – Executive Director

Dave brings a wealth of campaign experience to the RGA as Executive Director, after previously serving as RGA Political Director from 2015-2018. Prior to joining the RGA, Dave served as Campaign Manager for Ken Cuccinelli for Governor, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia, Deputy Campaign Manager for Bob McDonnell for Governor, National Coalitions Director for the Republican National Committee, and Campaign Manager for Congressman Bob Goodlatte. He is a graduate of James Madison University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and public administration.


Joel Richardson – Head of Digital Marketing

Before joining the RGA, Joel Richardson oversaw digital and web for Young People’s Ministries at the United Methodist Church world headquarters. Joel has managed digital assets for candidates for the West Virginia Senate, House, Secretary of State, Commissioner of Agriculture, as well as state-wide political organizations like the West Virginia Federation of Young Republicans. Joel received his bachelor’s degree in Computer and Information Technology from Marshall University.


Rebecca Schimsa – Policy Director

Rebecca Schimsa recently served as a senior policy advisor to Ambassador Nikki Haley at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations after previously serving as then-Governor Haley’s deputy legal counsel. A native South Carolinian, Rebecca earned her B.A. from Clemson University and her J.D. from the Charleston School of Law


Caitlin Schroder – Executive Roundtable Director

Caitlin Schroder, a member of the RGA team since 1999, leads the RGA’s Executive Roundtable, a membership program that brings together governors with business owners and executives.  Prior to this role, Caitlin served as the RGA’s Director of Recruitment, 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 and National Republican Congressional Committee joint fundraising dinners as well as in the finance department of the Republican National Committee.  Caitlin attended the Catholic University of America, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics.


Jon Thompson – Communications Director

Jon stepped into the role of RGA Communications Director in 2015 after serving the previous four years as the RGA’s Press Secretary, a role in which he focused on raising the national profiles of Republican governors and the RGA. Prior to joining the RGA, Jon served as Director of Radio and Television for the National Republican Congressional Committee during the 2010 cycle, and in the press office of the Republican National Committee during the 2008 cycle. Jon is a graduate of UNC Wilmington and a native of North Carolina.

@JonThompsonDC


Katherine Traynham  Executive Roundtable Deputy Director

Katherine previously served as the Director of Special Events at Gula Graham, where she fundraised for over 50 Senators, Congressmen and candidates over the course of her tenure there. Prior to Gula Graham, Katherine worked on Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s political team as a fundraising coordinator for both his re-election campaign, Cantor for Congress, and his leadership PAC, ERIC PAC. Katherine graduated from the University of Georgia with a double major in International Affairs and German, and is a native of Richmond, Virginia.


J.P. Twist – Political Director

J.P. Twist joins the RGA after serving as Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Campaign Manager and Senior Political Adviser since 2014.  A veteran of Arizona politics, J.P. has successfully managed ballot measures and campaigns at the federal, state, and local level, including both of Governor Ducey’s successful gubernatorial bids.J.P. Twist joins the RGA after serving as Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Campaign Manager and Senior Political Adviser since 2014.  A veteran of Arizona politics, J.P. has successfully managed ballot measures and campaigns at the federal, state, and local level, including both of Governor Ducey’s successful gubernatorial bids.


McKenzie Vaughn  Director of Board, Council, Roundtable & Club Memberships

Prior to joining the RGA, McKenzie was the Director of Operations and Public Affairs for The Daily Caller and Executive Director of its non-profit, The Daily Caller News Foundation. She previously interned for the RGA’s Executive Roundtable program. McKenzie graduated from American University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations. She is native of Cary, Illinois.