Who We Are
GuidePost Strategies utilizes years of political and policy expertise to advise clients.
As the conventional lanes of public policy and business as usual continues to shift, GuidePost Strategies draws upon years of experience advising leading officials, organizations, and causes to offer unmatched guidance. What makes our approach unique is that we understand what moves opinions outside of the Beltway; attitudes that ultimately drive opinions and news inside the Beltway.
What We Do
Phil Cox has two decades of experience directing political and issue advocacy campaigns, grassroots, communications and public affairs efforts, and is one of the nation’s most experienced political operatives, having directed more than one hundred campaigns in nearly every state and every level, including a presidential super-pac and campaigns for U.S. Senate, House, and Governor. From 2011-2014, Phil served as Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association, serving as a senior political and policy adviser to the nation’s 31 Republican Governors, while directing more than $250 million in support to candidates in all 50 states. He currently serves on the Board of the Mitch McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund, which spent more than $150 million in 2016 helping to strengthen the GOP Senate majority. The Boston Globe called him “a force for the GOP”, The Washington Times “a Republican Kingmaker”, and Politico recently named Phil one of its “50 Politicos to Watch.” He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, and lives in McLean, Virginia, with his wife and two children.
Marie Sanderson began her public service career on Capitol Hill for United States Senator Thad Cochran in 2003, where she served as Legislative Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary on the staff of the Appropriations Chairman. Following her tenure on Capitol Hill, Marie began working for Governor Haley Barbour where she served as the Policy Director to the Governor. From 2010-2015, Marie served as Policy Director for the Republican Governors Association (RGA) and the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee (RGPPC), working with Governors, Chiefs of Staff, and their policy teams to facilitate and advocate for best practices and good policy in both state and federal policy to governors, candidates, think tanks, Congress, the Administration and other political organizations. Marie has served in a number of roles including advising the U.S. House and Energy and Commerce Committee’s Medicaid Task Force and the FCC’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee. In 2017, in addition to her professional roles, Marie was “Sherpa” for USUN Ambassador Nikki Haley, an unpaid position with the US Presidential Transition, preparing and guiding the current Ambassador for her nomination to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Marie currently is Partner at 50 State LLC, Principal at Cardinal Group Policy, and Senior Advisor at IMGE. Marie serves on several boards and commissions and was recently appointed by Governor Phil Bryant to the Mississippi Arts Commission. She and her husband, Brian, have two sons and one daughter.
Marc Short served as Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs at the White House for President Donald J. Trump. Prior to joining the Trump – Pence campaign, Marc was president of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the largest free-market business league in the U.S., with an annual budget exceeding $300 million. Marc also served as chief of staff for the House Republican Conference, chaired by Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) and for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX). In his early career, Marc was the executive director of the Reagan Ranch from 1998- 2001, and served as the executive director of Freedom Alliance from 1995-1998. Currently, Marc is a Partner at GuidePost Strategies, commentator for CNN and Senior Fellow at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
Marc graduated from Washington and Lee University and received his master’s degree from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. He lives in Arlington with his wife and their three children.
Keith Gilkes was Governor Scott Walker’s first Chief of Staff and helped initiate and pass the Governor’s first state budget that eliminated a $3.6 billion shortfall, launching Gov. Walker to national prominence with groundbreaking economic and government reforms. He successfully ran three statewide campaigns in just four years to keep Gov. Walker in office, including the first defeat of an attempted recall of a Governor in the nation’s history. Keith has cemented his reputation as a top-tier strategist by providing guidance to many of the nation’s most targeted House and Senate races. Keith also works closely as an adviser to Wisconsin’s federal delegation on state issues of importance in Washington, DC. Keith was named the American Association of Political Consultants campaign manager of the year, and was named to Politico’s influential ’50 Politicos to Watch’ list in 2013.
Liesl Hickey is a veteran political strategist who has spent her career helping Republicans expand their reach in swing areas across the country. This election cycle, she has been an advisor to the National Republican Congressional Committee, Right to Rise Super PAC, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Congressman Mike Coffman and Clear Path Action Fund. She is partner in Patchwork Creative, a boutique political and advocacy media firm. She is a fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal’s “Think Tank.”
During the 2013-2014 cycle, she was the Executive Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), where she oversaw a historic 13-seat pickup. This new Republican majority–the largest since 1928–included a large number of members representing traditionally Democratic constituencies. During her tenure at the NRCC, the committee grew its online fundraising by over 400%, created a strategy and data division to run more effective campaigns, and focused its offensive efforts on electing a diverse Republican class.
In 2011 and 2012, Hickey led the NRCC’s Patriot Program, a dedicated effort to re-elect Republican incumbents in competitive districts. During this cycle, she raised an unprecedented $6M for members’ campaigns and helped navigate their efforts through a tough political environment. Hickey served as a consultant to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) in 2010. Hickey was previously Chief of Staff to then-Rep. Mark Kirk (IL), where she helped author the “Suburban Agenda,” a first-time effort by national Republicans to craft a set of policies targeted at independent, suburban voters–a program that was instrumental to surviving the 2006 Democratic wave election. Hickey has worked on many congressional and statewide races across the country and served as Senator Peter Fitzgerald’s Finance Director during his successful 1998 campaign.
Hickey also was a Senior Director for Campaigns at Bono’s ONE Campaign during the 2008 cycle where she oversaw a $40M presidential advocacy effort to fight global poverty and disease. Hickey is a 1996 graduate of Southern Methodist University. She lives on Capitol Hill with her husband and three children.
Tim Pearson currently also serves as a Senior Advisor to South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. Tim has more than a decade of experience in politics and government, most recently as Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to former South Carolina Governor and current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, a role he assumed after the successful management of her election and re-election campaigns and serving as her first gubernatorial Chief-of-Staff.
Prior to his time in South Carolina, Tim worked as Director of Rapid Response for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s campaign for President and on Capitol Hill as a communications aide to Senator Rick Santorum. Tim, a native of Connecticut, is a graduate of Lehigh University and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Andy Koenig brings over ten years of public policy and advocacy experience from the White House, Capitol Hill, and the non-profit sector. Serving as a Special Assistant to the President and Policy Special Assistant to President Donald Trump for Legislative Affairs since February 2017, Andy worked closely with the House and Senate on legislation ranging from tax reform, budget negotiations, health care, workforce development, prison reform, and immigration. Prior to joining the White House, Andy was the Vice President of Policy for Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce where he advanced grassroots and paid media strategies. While working in non-profit issue advocacy, Andy’s op-eds appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Review, Forbes, Time, and other publications. Before joining Freedom Partners in 2013, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives as the Policy Director for the House Republican Conference under Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX). During his six years on Capitol Hill, Andy also worked as a Policy Advisor for Representative Mike Pence (R‑IN) and a Professional Staff Member for the Republican Study Committee with a portfolio focused on federal budget policy, taxes, entitlements, and appropriations. Andy majored in Political Science and History at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan.
Larissa Martin has been with GuidePost since its inception in 2017. She brings over a decade of experience working with elected officials on both the state and federal level. She has successfully navigated a broad range of political, policy and legislative issues facing corporations, associations and nonprofits across multiple industries.
From 2010-2014, she served as Chief Operating Officer at the Republican Governors Association (RGA). In this role, she worked closely with senior staff from all Republican Governors offices throughout the country and their campaigns.
Prior to joining the RGA, she was at the Republican Party of Florida working on state senate campaigns from 2007-2010.
Larissa is also Vice President at 50 State, LLC where she provides strategic advice and helps clients navigate governor’s offices throughout the nation. She also recently served as Deputy Director of Operations on the 2016 Trump Transition team.
Larissa grew up in Bloomfield Hills, MI., and attended Florida State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Criminology and received a Master’s in Applied American Politics & Policy. She resides in Washington, DC., with her husband, Luke.
Generra Peck began her career in public service and politics working for former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell. Generra served on the campaign, transition and as a policy and legislative advisor in the McDonnell Administration. She also held posts in the Office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade. After the McDonnell Administration, Generra was a vice president in the infrastructure and economic development practice at McGuireWoods Consulting in Richmond, Virginia, advising clients on policy considerations related to infrastructure and public-private partnerships.
Generra most recently served as Policy Director to Ed Gillespie during his 2017 campaign for governor of Virginia. As policy director, Generra oversaw the policy development and issues functions that released more than 20 detailed policy proposals over the course of the campaign.
Generra has a background working on issues related to infrastructure, education, energy, public safety, economic development, technology, finance, and good government. She is also experienced in understanding the intersection between federal and state policy issues.
Generra graduated from the University of Richmond and received her master’s degree from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. She co-teaches the University of Richmond’s Political Campaign Management Professional Certificate program and has been a guest speaker at the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the University of Virginia’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, among others. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.
Laine Striegel most recently served in the Rauner Administration as the Director of Communications at the Illinois State Board of Education and was Governor Bruce Rauner’s Director of Advance. She was also the Director of Advance for Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti on Governor Rauner’s gubernatorial campaign. Prior to her time in Illinois, Striegel lived in Washington, D.C. where she spent over three years working for Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN), most notably serving as his Military Legislative Aide. She left Congressman Roe’s office in 2012 to be Lead Press Advance on Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaign. She also worked on John McCain’s 2008 Presidential campaign before joining Rep. Roe’s office.
Laine received her B.A. in Government from Wofford College and her M.A. in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. She was a member of the 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee.
Christopher Hansford started his experience in state government in the offices of the George Bush Center with the Republican Party of Florida. He stayed on to work on the campaign of Bill McCollum for Governor of Florida. Chris graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelors in History in 2011 and a Master’s in International Diplomatic History in 2014. Additionally, he provided support to the Gillespie policy team during the 2017 governor’s race there.
Chief Operating Officer
Bethany Scully served as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs at the White House for President Donald J. Trump. Prior to joining the White House, Bethany worked for Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) during her 2016 re-election cycle, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) from 2009 – 2011 and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) from 2004 – 2009. She also served as the Deputy Director of Member Relations for Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and as a Program Manager for Koch Companies Public Sector.
Bethany received her undergraduate degree from Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX) and Master’s in Public Policy from George Mason University (Arlington, VA). She lives in Falls Church with her husband, Chris, and their three children: Patrick, Lila, and Maggie.
Director of Operations
Catherine Chestnut brings years of expert project management, political, and issue advocacy experience to provide executive and client support. Chestnut has served as Executive Director to multiple independent political organizations. She was also Deputy Campaign Manager on Eric Greitens’ successful campaign for governor. Chestnut is a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle.
Director of Operations
Kayla Davey is an experienced client service specialist who supports GuidePost executives in providing top-tier services to our clients. Most recently she worked in a project management capacity for Facilities Resource Group, Inc. and specialized in client relations regarding the procurement and execution of government contracts. Kayla graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Marketing and earned a Master’s in Global and Intercultural Studies from Liberty University.
At GuidePost we help our clients manage risk and maximize opportunity. Our political and policy experts provide unmatched counsel to clients seeking to navigate a dynamic federal landscape.