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 including the statewide Mississippi Arts Commission Board of Directors and the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi Board of Directors. In 2020, she and her husband, Brian, founded the MS 30 Day Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to providing financial support to Mississippi’s small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of forgivable loans. Brian and Marie have two sons and one daughter.
Caroline Canfield brings over fifteen years of executive and legislative experience in the federal government working on Capitol Hill and in the Department of Defense. She most recently served as Majority Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for Chairman Jerry Moran (R-KS), and was previously Military Legislative Assistant and appropriations advisor to Senator Moran.
In 2005, Caroline began her federal service in the Pentagon’s White House Liaison Office under then-President George W. Bush, and supported the onboarding actions of all presidentially appointed individuals to serve in the Department of Defense.
From 2007 to 2012, she served as a Legislative Affairs Officer for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) in the Pentagon. Caroline holds a Master of Arts degree from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University.
Michael Bain brings more than a dozen years of experience working on complex public policy matters in Washington, D.C. He has most recently been developing and implementing advocacy campaigns for leading companies and trade associations across a variety of industries at Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies.
Michael previously served on the Democratic staff of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for nearly a decade, including the full committee staff, and for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Transportation/Housing, Commerce, Justice, Science, Financial Services, and Energy and Water Development. Michael was involved in almost every aspect of developing and passing federal appropriations legislation and gained extensive experience working on Department of Defense (“DOD”) legislative issues, and worked closely with the Congressional Armed Services Committees, DOD, and the military services on defense policy.
Michael applies his extensive Congressional and private sector experience working on federal policy issues to help clients successfully navigate Washington’s legislative and regulatory environment, providing whole-of-government strategies that achieve favorable outcomes.
Michael earned his law degree from George Washington University Law School and his undergraduate degree in political science from Miami University.
For more than 20 years, John Davis has worked for a wide variety of Democratic elected leaders and candidates at both the state and federal levels. John has worked in senior capacities on presidential, gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and state legislative campaigns, with a particular focus in Iowa.
At the state level, John has provided strategic policy advice for the Democratic leadership and senior legislative staff, helped elect several state Democratic party chairs, and developed well-funded coordinated campaigns and candidate recruitment efforts.
A former congressional chief of staff with over a decade of experience on Capitol Hill, John worked for senators from Minnesota and Washington and House members from Iowa and New York.
As chief of staff, John led a legislative team focused on health care reform for an Energy and Commerce Committee member. John also served as senior professional committee staff on the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Off Capitol Hill, John has worked for dozens of campaigns from across the country and has provided communications guidance, strategic fundraising development, and general political counsel to candidates and elected officials at all levels. John has earned a reputation as an effective leader in politics and policy.
A native of Iowa, John holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife Ann and their two daughters.
John Gray brings over a dozen years of public policy and federal budget experience working on Capitol Hill and the Executive Office of the President. He most recently served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy for Vice President Pence. During that time, John worked on all domestic policy matters, including health care, energy, tax reform implementation, the federal budget, workforce development, spectrum/5G, transportation and infrastructure, and financial services policies. In addition, John also helped manage the Coronavirus Task Force, including all related policy, for Vice President Pence.
Prior to joining the Vice President’s Office, John was Acting Chief of Staff and Associate Director for the Office of Management and Budget. He was tasked with managing the funding and policy priorities for the Departments of Labor, Education, Social Security Administration, and the income maintenance divisions of the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services.
Before joining the White House, John was a federal budget and appropriations analyst at the Heritage Foundation. From 2011 to 2015, he served in the U.S. Senate as Legislative Director for Senator Rand Paul. During his years in the House of Representatives, from 2007 to 2011, John served as Policy Advisor to Chairman Mike Pence at the House Republican Conference and Budget Analyst for Ranking Member Paul Ryan at the House Budget Committee.
Ryan Canfield brings over a dozen years of public policy and appropriations experience working on Capitol Hill and in the Executive Office of the President. Serving as a Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, Ryan worked with more than 140 Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle in the U.S. House of Representatives and managed various legislative initiatives regarding national security, tax reform, transportation and infrastructure, budget and appropriations negotiations, financial services andcriminal justicereform. As part of his Executive Office experience, Ryan also served in the Office of Management and Budget providing analysis and counsel regarding all matters related to Congressional appropriations for both the House and Senate and worked directly with House and Senate Leadership, Members of the Committees on Appropriations and their professional staff to implement the priorities of the President. During his ten years on Capitol Hill, Ryan served in the U.S. House of Representatives as the Legislative Director for the then-Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and worked for Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) with a portfolio that included budget, defense, trade, tax, telecommunications, foreign affairs, healthcare, and financial services issues. Ryan earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin and resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife Caroline.
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.
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.
Jennifer Ridder served as National States Director for Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. She was previously campaign manager for Governor Steve Bullock’s presidential campaign. Jenn was the campaign manager for Jared Polis’ successful campaign for governor of Colorado. Previously, she recruited congressional candidates and oversaw Democratic congressional campaigns as the mountain-west political director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). In 2014, Jenn served as the Deputy Campaign Manager for Mark Udall’s Senate campaign and before that worked on both of President Obama’s campaigns in Colorado. Jenn has lived in Kenya mapping elephant migration patterns with Save the Elephants.
Vice President, Policy
Erin Phifer brings years of policy experience at both the federal and state levels to GuidePost. She served in a variety of policy roles for former Congressman Reid Ribble of Wisconsin, advising the Congressman on issues including cybersecurity, tax, financial services and housing, labor, education and foreign affairs. Erin also previously served as Manager of Membership Development and Advocacy for The ERISA Industry Committee, focusing on federal and state healthcare and retirement policies.
Most recently, Erin worked as a Policy Advisor for the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee (RGPPC), working closely with Republican Governors’ staff, as well as facilitating engagement with Administration and House and Senate staff. While at RGPPC, she focused on infrastructure, energy, economic development and tax issues, specifically monitoring federal policies that impacted states.
Erin received her B.A. in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics and Government from American University in Washington, D.C. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, Evan, and dog, Loki.
Vice President, Finance
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.
Policy Research Associate
Rachel Cohen has experience in a number of policy and legal roles. Most recently, Rachel advised financial services clients on state and federal regulatory matters at Weiner Brodsky Kider P.C., a boutique law firm in Washington, D.C.
Rachel previously worked for the Department of Health & Human Services in their Civil Rights Division. She also has experience working on national compliance matters at the Segal Group, assisting the team with matters related to client employee benefit plans. Prior to that, Rachel worked as a member of Guardian Life Insurance’s government affairs team.
Rachel earned her law degree from George Washington University Law School and her undergraduate degree in history from Colgate University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She is a member of the D.C. Bar.
GuidePost Strategies Adds Zack Roday
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GuidePost Strategies Launches New Corporate Governance Practice Group
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Ryan Canfield Joins GuidePost Strategies
Canfield served as long-time House Appropriations Committee Aide; Most Recently in White House Office of Legislative Affairs WASHINGTON, D.C. – GuidePost Strategies – a Washington, D.C.-based government and public affairs firm – today announced that Ryan Canfield joins the firm as…Read More
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.