Behind great work is a great team.

Annie Plotkin serves on our Digital team where she provides digital support to many of our top clients. Prior to joining the Subject Matter team, she worked as a PR associate for Savor PR where she helped a variety of restaurant clients with experiential marketing and social media management and marketing. Before that, she interned for Baltz & Co., a PR firm that works with restaurants, including those run by José Andres. Annie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Vassar College.

Annie Plotkin

Digital Coordinator

On board for our Government Relations team, Lauren Roche supports partners Steve Elmendorf and Jimmy Ryan as their Executive Assistant. Prior to joining the Subject Matter team, she supported the CEO and president of Bedrock Industries, a private equity firm, from February 2017 through October 2018. Before that, she served from 2007 to 2016 at the Embassy of Australia working for the Trade Policy Branch, Military Attaché and Australian Army, and the Deputy Ambassador. She previously worked in Australia for the federal government and private sector and nonprofit organizations. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and American Studies from the Australian National University and a Master of Arts degree in Strategy and Security from the University of NSW at the Australian Defense Force Academy.

Lauren Roche

Executive Assistant

Steve is a Subject Matter founder and partner, and is widely recognized as one of D.C.'s preeminent political strategists. With a career on Capitol Hill and in politics spanning more than 30 years, Steve's tenure in Washington has been grounded in daily interaction with the White House, administration officials, senators, members of Congress and leading interest groups on the front lines of the economic, social, domestic, national security and foreign policy debates in the last decades. Steve rose to the highest level Democratic staffer in the House of Representatives as Chief of Staff to House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt, and upon leaving the Hill served as a senior advisor to the Gephardt, Kerry and Clinton presidential campaigns. Since 2006, Steve has represented some of the nation's most important corporations, trade associations and organizations on critical legislative and regulatory issues, helping to drive their businesses, build their brands and expand their market shares. He has been a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, and is consistently listed among the most influential leaders in Washington by Politico, The Hill, GQ and other national publications.

Steve Elmendorf

Partner & Co-Founder

Paul is a Subject Matter founder and partner. He has more than 30 years experience designing and executing communications strategy in both the public and private sectors. At Subject Matter he directs work for a wide range of association, corporate, government and non-profit clients, and helped lead legacy firm Home Front Communications' expansion into content and digital development and engagement. Paul learned the value of integrated strategic communications from working on political campaigns and for members of the U.S House of Representatives. He was chief of staff to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and Senior Communications Strategist for House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt. During the 1998 election cycle he was political director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Paul Frick

Partner & Co-Founder

Jimmy is a Subject Matter founder and partner with over 15 years of experience working in the government and federal affairs arena. His first exposure to Capitol Hill, while in law school, was on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and later with then Chairman Chuck Schumer’s House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice. Jimmy rose to the position of Chief Counsel and Floor Policy Director for U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), the Assistant Democratic Leader and Whip. Working for the Democratic Whip, Jimmy was responsible for developing and coordinating the Democrats day-to-day Senate floor operations; managing whip counts on key votes; and advising other Democratic Senators on Senate floor strategy and procedure. That experience proved invaluable at Citigroup, where he was a Senior Vice President and Co-Head for Federal Government Affairs. Jimmy continues to use his broad experience navigating complex legislative and regulatory issues on behalf of the nation’s leading businesses, and his deep expertise in developing meaningful public policy solutions is invaluable to our clients. Jimmy received a B.A. from Loyola College in Baltimore, and a J.D. from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.

Jimmy Ryan

Partner & Co-Founder

Dan is a Subject Matter founder and partner. In 1999, Dan and Paul founded Subject Matter legacy firm Home Front Communications, which grew into a fully integrated communications and advertising firm. Prior to that, Dan worked in political campaigns and government, serving as Press Secretary to House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt and as Communications Director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the successful 1998 election cycle. He is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. A graduate of Rollins College, he was an NCAA All-American in tennis in 1991.

Dan Sallick

Partner & Co-Founder

John Buckley is Chief Executive Officer of Subject Matter, having spent more than 30 years in Washington managing large teams and integrated communications programs within corporations, agencies, and political campaigns. His corporate experience includes ten years running communications and advertising at Fannie Mae (1991-2001), and five years as EVP of communications at AOL (2002-2007.)  His decade of agency experience most recently includes being managing director of The Harbour Group (2008-2016).  John has held senior positions in three presidential campaigns, including deputy press secretary to Reagan-Bush ’84, press secretary to Jack Kemp’s 1988 campaign, and communications director to Dole-Kemp ‘96.

John Buckley

Chief Executive Officer

Nicole Cornish is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Subject Matter. Prior to joining Subject Matter, Nicole spent 15 years at Burson-Marsteller, most recently as U.S. Chief Operating Officer for the global PR agency. Over the course of her career with Burson-Marsteller, Nicole worked with some of the world's foremost brands, directed grassroots advocacy campaigns and served in senior leadership within the firm’s largest region. Both an analytical mind and an engaging personality, Nicole is focused on honing Subject Matter's service to clients and fostering a workplace that is second to none.

Nicole Cornish

President / Chief Operating Officer

For nearly 20 years, Kristi has tackled complex policy issues — as a Hill staffer, government relations professional and attorney. An experienced Democratic lobbyist with an extensive network on Capitol Hill, she represents corporations, trade associations, and interest groups on a wide array of legislative matters; with particular experience in the financial services, transportation and communications sectors. Kristi is skilled at managing multi-faceted legislative campaigns and coordinating the diverse interests necessary to reach success, while integrating into large corporate organizations to craft strategic plans. Prior to joining Subject Matter Kristi served as Legislative Director and Counsel to Senator Paul S. Sarbanes, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and architect of Sarbanes-Oxley, anti-money laundering, terrorism risk insurance and a host of other sweeping legislative initiatives. Kristi earned her B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Georgetown and was an Associate in Kirkpatrick and Lockhart’s banking practice before going to the Hill.

Kristi Kennedy

Government Relations

Carlos leads strategic initiatives for Subject Matter and its clients. He built the firm's first Digital Media Strategy unit and directed the Content and Media teams before moving into his current company-wide role. He is a frequent public speaker on the intersection of journalism, advertising and strategic communications. Previously, Carlos spearheaded the systematic development of niche-targeted online communities at USA Today. He is a recipient of the Teaching Excellence and Service Award for his curriculum development and instruction in Georgetown University's graduate journalism program. Carlos was recently appointed to the CDC's Editorial Board of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. He is fluent in Spanish.

Carlos Roig

Chief Strategy Officer

Hastie excels at using data-driven digital strategy to transform global brands and reach the influential audiences that matter to them. She came to Subject Matter from a leading government relations firm, where she built and expanded the digital department, making it a powerhouse of advocacy in Washington and helping it earn its first award for digital strategy. She also helped spearhead the development of leading-edge social media products and services at one of the largest digital and marketing communications agencies in the world. Before joining the agency world, Hastie cut her teeth in management consulting, overseeing large-scale projects, including $50 million U.S. Department of Defense research programs.

Hastie Afkhami

Senior Vice President, Digital

Audrey Chang has more than two decades of experience in corporate communications, public affairs and issues management. She promotes client priorities through the full range of traditional and new media, and translates complex subject matter in consumer technology, life sciences and social policy, into stories that resonate and persuade. Audrey was most recently a Managing Director at The Harbour Group and previously worked at Burson-Marsteller and Ogilvy Public Relations. She has represented a variety of companies ranging from Fortune 10 companies to startups, as well as major industry associations, coalitions and nationally-known nonprofits. Additionally, she has managed a number of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, with an eye toward highlighting corporate leadership and driving community engagement, particularly in the greater DC area. Audrey has a M.A. from American University and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania where she serves on the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women.

Audrey Chang

Senior Vice President, Strategic Communications

Steve works to identify new strategies to develop and deliver content for our clients. Before joining the firm in 2014, he spent more than seven years as a top official at the U.S. Census Bureau, overseeing the two largest outreach and promotion campaigns ever undertaken by the federal government for the 2000 and 2010 Census. Jost's campaigns were recognized for groundbreaking market research to shape successful multicultural outreach efforts. His 2010 campaign alone earned more than 150 awards and honors from the advertising, public relations and media industries. He has twice received the Department of Commerce's highest recognition for distinguish public service, the Secretary's Gold Medal, as well as a Silver and a Bronze Medal. Steve leads the Federal Practice at Subject Matter.

Steve Jost

Senior Vice President, Content Strategy

Dianne leads Subject Matter’s strategic planning efforts to design, analyze and optimize communications campaigns across clients. Working in collaboration with our campaign leads, she helps uncover key insights, facilitates creative briefs, and helps guide the development of strategic plans, as well as managing research and media partners. She has extensive experience in full-service advertising work and with B2B and government clients. Before joining the firm, she was an Account Supervisor at Peter Mayer and a Brand Strategist at Trumpet, both in New Orleans. Dianne holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dianne Mikeska

Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning

Kevin leads the total creative function of the agency. His job is to inspire cross-disciplinary ideas that are on-strategy and well crafted — everything from traditional advertising and design to guerilla tactics and digital experiences. His true talent lies in building campaigns on a simple and memorable idea. Kevin's work engages audiences, generating results for clients and hardware for the agency. Ask what he's proudest of and he'll answer, “working with great people.” Before joining Subject Matter, Kevin honed his creative chops and leadership style as an Associate Creative Director at SmithGifford.

Kevin Richards

Chief Creative Officer

John is a veteran journalist who brings a newsroom’s approach and perspective to Subject Matter’s diverse campaigns and content. He works with clients to develop effective content strategy matched by high-level execution. John specializes in crafting authentic stories — whether op-eds, blog posts or strategy documents — that inform and persuade. In his 20-year career at USA Today, he served as Page One Editor and Cover Story Editor, shaping the daily enterprise content across USA Today’s print and digital platforms. John also directed the Op-Ed Page for eight years while serving on the newspaper’s Editorial Board, thus helping to guide and inform wide-ranging discussions on the issues of the day.

John Siniff

Senior Vice President, Content

Joy leads Subject Matter's team of media specialists, overseeing the strategic development and tactical execution of media outreach initiatives. In more than a decade of work at the firm, she has built a deep understanding of what's required for successful media campaigns, from framing strategy to overseeing logistical details. Joy established Subject Matter's in-house broadcast production studio and has managed a range of productions. Joy holds a Bachelor of Arts from The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs.

Joy Burks

Vice President, Media

Tim manages and schedules client projects across all departments to ensure their prompt and successful delivery. He handles the day-to-day management of company-wide systems and internal operations. Since joining the team, he has helped deliver solutions for the agency's largest clients, developing and guiding multi-channel campaigns for government agencies, private sector organizations, charities and nonprofits. Tim holds a B.A. in English from Shippensburg University.

Timothy Ziembicki

Vice President, Operations

As a Media Specialist, Natalie develops coverage reports for our outreach efforts. She also helps coordinate earned media outreach for clients, including targeted outreach to a number of broadcast and digital outlets nationwide. Before coming to Subject Matter, Natalie was the public relations and affairs intern for Curley Company, where she developed gap analyses and press releases for health care organizations in 35 states. She was also the communications intern for United States Senator, Robert P. Casey, Jr. in the fall of 2015. Natalie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from Hamilton College, with a minor in Government.

Natalie Adams

Media Specialist

Stacey provides clients with a unique blend of public policy, public affairs and campaign experience. Her approach to solving complex problems is to turn conventional wisdom on its side in search of innovative solutions. She works with corporate and trade association clients to forge longstanding relationships and to build federal advocacy efforts that yield bipartisan results. Stacey served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Jim Matheson, where she worked with House Leadership and senior Committee staff on a variety of legislative and political issues including energy, health care, trade and tax issues. Prior to her service in the United States House of Representatives, Stacey directed public affairs campaigns as a Senior Associate at APCO Worldwide and has private sector experience that contributed to her perspective and approach on Capitol Hill. A longtime political advisor, Stacey served as Deputy Political Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).

Stacey Alexander

Government Relations

Maggie works across all departments to ensure client projects are completed on time and on budget. Before joining Subject Matter, she was an Account Executive at O'Keeffe and Company. Maggie holds a B.S. in Marketing Management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Maggie Allard

Account Manager

Whitaker Askew joins Subject Matter with more than thirteen years experience in politics, lobbying and integrated advocacy. Askew brings to Subject Matter extensive relationships and a successful track record on a diversified range of issues in tax and financial services, commerce, labor, hospitality and travel. He works with clients to build consensus, craft multidimensional political strategies and execute integrated campaigns that matter. Most recently, Askew was vice president of government relations at the American Gaming Association. Prior to that, Askew served Speaker of the House John Boehner as executive director of The Freedom Project/Team Boehner, which played a critical role in the G.O.P.’s 2010 takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was PAC director of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America in 2005, following service in several capacities at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) during the 2004 election cycle.

Whitaker Askew

Government Relations

As Senior Project Manager, Andrew Bako keeps client projects up-to-date, on task and on budget. Prior to joining the Subject Matter team, Andrew worked as an account executive at Zimmerman Advertising where he managed daily client requests for the agency’s Mid-Atlantic Nissan account. He also advised clients on media strategy and implementation, as well as being the liaison between the client, media teams and agency headquarters. Andrew holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management from Virginia Tech.

Andrew Bako

Senior Project Manager

Katherine (Katie) Boehret is a communications expert and former Wall Street Journal columnist known for developing clear, mission-driven messaging and strategies. Most recently, as a Senior Director at Burson-Marsteller, she developed business strategies, events and executive media plans for clients such as Ford Motor Company’s Mobility team, Sony and the Smithsonian Institution. Prior to that, Katie spent 14 years working with renowned technology journalist Walt Mossberg and became a tech columnist at the Journal. She also played an integral role in the launch of and the D Conference. Katie went on to hold senior editorial roles at Recode and The Verge, where she wrote reviews, news stories and opinion columns on the state of technology in our culture.

Katherine Boehret

Senior Director, Content

Pat served as the lead staffer on the Senate Finance Committee for energy, transportation and excise taxes under committee chairman Senator Max Baucus (D-MT). Most notably, he led the Committee's policy work in designing the energy tax portions of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010; the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; and the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008. As a Finance Committee staff member for over a decade, he also has broad experience in health care, having served as both Professional Staff on Medicare as well as Acting Chief for health care and entitlements, which include Medicare, Medicaid and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

Pat Bousliman

Government Relations

A skilled and experienced copywriter, Surin thrives collaborating with clients to conceptualize fully integrated, digital and print campaigns. Before joining Subject Matter, she was a Copywriter for Digitas Health in Philadelphia where she helped launch a new treatment for Shire Plc. Surin grew up in Germany and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012 (Go Rams!), and has lived and worked in New York, D.C. and Philadelphia over the course of the last five years.

Surin Bridge


Co-founder and board member of Read Aloud 15 MINUTES, Jen Bryan joins Subject Matter after nearly a decade of dedicated service to building up her non-profit and developing its mission, strategies and goals. As an Account Director, Jen provides editorial and content direction to all client projects that come across her desk with sharp, strategic thinking for customized solutions. Prior to Subject Matter and Read Aloud, Jen was a copy editor and wire editor at The Cincinnati Enquirer and an assistant reader editor at USA Today.

Jen Bryan

Account Director

As an Associate on Subject Matter’s Federal Services Team, Lauren works closely with clients like the United States Census Bureau and Ginnie Mae, crafting campaigns and searching for new business opportunities. Before joining the team, she previously worked on localized integrated communications campaigns for private, public and non-profit clients in the financial services, health care, technology and transportation sectors at Burson-Marsteller. She’s also served as a public affairs intern for the National Endowment for the Arts, a communications intern at the National Institute for Healthcare Management and a press fellow for U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18). Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Art History from Howard University.

Lauren Buchanan

Associate, Federal Services

Lauren works closely with our web development team to create customized websites and digital tools. Before joining Subject Matter, Lauren was Director of Interactive Strategies at Case Foundation, where she led technical strategy, data aggregation and visualization, and oversaw the redesign of the company and affiliate websites. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Maryland and a Certificate in Web Development from Boston University.

Lauren Burton

Senior Director of Technology

Before joining Subject Matter Caitlin was the Public Relations and Marketing Manager for the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex in New York City. Her previous experience includes working with executive level staff to manage Public Relations and marketing materials for the Chelsea Piers complex. Caitlin’s expertise included assisting with community relations and outreach on online print and advertising and listings, social media presence, press releases and coordinating various media collateral. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the College of Charleston.

Caitlin Callebs

Account Director

An artist at heart, Rosemary Cornelius joins the Subject Matter team as a web and graphic designer working with some of our top clients including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Hospital Association and the Women’s Heart Alliance. She specializes in branding and web design, creating infographics and social media graphics. Rosemary previously interned at VOX Global and worked as a designer at Punch Digital Strategy building brands and implementing design across the company. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design from Texas State University.

Rosemary Cornelius


Peter produces video narratives, motion graphic content and multimedia presentations for organizations such as The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Association of American Railroads and the MacArthur Foundation. Before joining Subject Matter, he worked at The Discovery Channel’s The Koppel Group and ABC News Nightline. He has produced and reported on national, international, political, investigative and culture/feature stories.

Peter Demchuk

Senior Producer

As Senior Project Manager, Liz Doherty keeps client projects up-to-date, on-task and on budget for some of our top clients like Airlines for America. Before joining Subject Matter, Liz served as Senior Associate to the U.S. Headquarters CEO for Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations and communications firm. Prior to that, she was Operations Director for Governor Martin O’Malley’s O’PAC and was a congressional intern for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in 2013. Liz holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Peace Studies from George Washington University.

Liz Doherty

Senior Project Manager

Tim brings two decades of experience in journalism and strategic communications to his role as a Subject Matter Senior Director. Throughout his career, Tim has worked closely with trade associations and multinational companies, and he has a deep understanding of public affairs, financial communications and technology policy. Before joining the Subject Matter team, Tim served as Senior Director of Corporate Affairs & Communications for Discovery Communications. Before that, he served as a Director at Glover Park Group. From 2003 to 2010, Tim worked as a reporter at Bloomberg News and Forbes, among other publications. Tim holds an M.A. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and an undergraduate degree from Boston College.

Tim Doyle

Senior Director

Patrick conceives and creates striking visual content that combines strategic thinking with engaging graphics and copy. He has over 10 years of experience collaborating with organizations large and small, including the well-known brands Toyota, the National Geographic Museum, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the United States Census Bureau, the Smithsonian, and the U.S. Navy SEALs. His design portfolio encompasses exhibition design, advertising campaigns, website creation, and visual identities. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications Design from Syracuse University.

Patrick Everson

Associate Creative Director

As Senior Design Director, Kevin Fenton provides top-level design direction, generates conceptual ideas for campaign messaging, and streamlines and facilities the workflow of our Creative team. Prior to joining Team Subject Matter, Kevin operated as a freelance design director for a variety of clients, including Variety Magazine, American Express, Beats By Dre and Marriot Hotels. In that role, he both wrote and designed treatments for commercials, television and feature film pitches, and established art direction, brand design and identity systems based on marketing briefs and client feedback. Before that, he was design director and lead designer for The Partners Trust and The Hypothesis Group, respectively. Kevin holds a graduate degree in Graphic Design/Art Direction from Portfolio Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Kevin Fenton

Senior Design Director

Andrea Fischer joins Subject Matter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where she served for more than five years as a press officer in the Office of Media Affairs. She worked as a senior strategic communications strategist and on-the-record spokeswoman on the FDA’s major initiatives and focus areas — food, drugs, devices, tobacco, biologics and more. She is well-versed in health communications and the various aspects of both internal and external communications. Prior to her time at the FDA, Andrea worked as deputy communications director for Virgil Bernero's gubernatorial campaign in Michigan and separately as an account executive at a full-service public relations agency representing local, statewide and national clients.

Andrea Fischer

Account Director

As Production Coordinator, Elaina Finkelstein ensures that every aspect of a video shoot for any one of our clients runs smoothly from concept to post-production. Prior to joining the Subject Matter team, Elaina worked at local Washington, D.C., news stations ABC7 and WUSA9. While there she handled content creation, video production and floor direction. Before that, she was an intern right here at Subject Matter where she found her passion for digital media and video editing. Elaina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Digital Media Studies and Music from the University of Mary Washington.

Elaina Finkelstein

Production Coordinator

Brian is responsible for operating our in-house studio, including cameras and lighting equipment for both live and taped studio productions. He also works closely with producers in the creation of various long- and short-form video packages. Before joining Subject Matter, he was a Production Assistant with the Frederick County (Maryland) Government Interagency Information Technologies. He has a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Media and Film from Towson University.

Brian Foreman

Studio Manager / Editor

Jason conceives, shoots, edits and produces videos, 3D animation and motion graphics for the firm's diverse clients. His work before joining Subject Matter included time on the road with the band U2, creating tour visuals for their 360 World Tour and co-editing their 2007 feature-length concert film, “U2 3D.” He's also created marketing videos for Apple in Cupertino. Before working with Apple and U2, Jason worked with director Mark Pellington, helping produce the film The Mothman Prophecies as well as producing and editing music videos for Kings of Leon, Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews. Jason got his start working in the feature film creative department at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank after graduating from The University of Southern California.

Jason Free

Director of Production

Virginia promotes and pitches Spanish-language news stories in media markets across the country. Before joining Subject Matter, she was a Hispanic Banking Program Manager for Capital One, where she managed the multicultural media and community relation strategies and branding for 144 branches. Virginia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Journalism from the Universidad Central de Venezuela.

Virginia Gamboa

Senior Media Specialist

As Chief of Staff at Subject Matter, Brittany combines her roles as a strategist, consultant and implementer to drive streamlined activities within the company based on the priorities set by Executive Leadership. She handles the day-to-day management of business operations and personnel that keep the company running at top speed. Prior to joining the Subject Matter team, Brittany worked for nine years in the health care industry. A Richmond native, she attended James Madison University and received a Bachelor of Science in health administration and a Master of Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Brittany Geiling

Chief of Staff

As Account Associate for the Federal Services team, Conor Gilligan crafts campaigns and helps in the development of everything from websites to press releases for some of our top clients, including the National Science Board, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and Ginne Mae. Prior to joining the Subject Matter team, he worked at GTB in Dearborn, Michigan, where he promoted Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) initiative efforts for Ford Motor Company. Before that, he served as a communications and public relations intern for Los Angeles social impact agency Propper Daley, where he conducted research for senior management and clients, including The Clinton Foundation, The Ad Council, Service Nation, John Legend and Tobey Maguire. Conor holds a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Theater from the University of Southern California.

Conor Gilligan

Account Associate

As an avid reader and writer, Elizabeth loves storytelling. She's excited to put that passion to work for clients, drafting op-eds, blog posts and policy documents. Prior to joining Subject Matter, Elizabeth worked at the White House Writers Group, where she focused on third party outreach and coalition building. She was also a reporter for the Orange County Register and an editorial fellow at USA Today. Elizabeth has a B.A. in history from Bryn Mawr College and a master's degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications from Northwestern University.

Elizabeth Held

Senior Writer / Editor

Vaniah works closely with supervisors and managers to coordinate a myriad of schedules, maintain and grow client relationships, and ensure that a buzzing office operates without a hitch. Prior to joining the Subject Matter team, Vaniah was a dedicated administrator at ATCS, P.L.C. In this role, she served as liaison between the district office and headquarters, and was integrally involved in marketing, accounting, procurement, and solicitation research. Vaniah graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Religious Studies.

Vaniah Holtz

Operations Manager & Project Specialist

Julie develops websites and online tools as a member of our Digital Team. Before joining Subject Matter, Julie worked as a Front End developer at an interactive engineering company honing her skills. She also has years of experience in the political marketing and publishing world as an award winning graphic designer. Julie has a B.A. in Graphic Design from Salisbury University.

Julie Hudak

Senior Front End Developer

Sarah started her time at Subject Matter first as an Accounts Intern and then joined the team full-time thereafter. She works closely both with clients on their project needs and with internal business development and creative teams. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree from American University where she majored in Public Relations and Strategic Communications with a focus in Political Communication.

Sarah Jaleel

Account Associate

A member of the Client Services team, Director Anne Jenkins helps lead day-to-day executions for two of our top clients, the Association of American Railroads and the Air Line Pilots Association. She brings with her over 16 years of experience developing, implementing and managing strategic communications programs for public and private sector organizations. Prior to joining the Subject Matter team, Anne served as the Senior Director for Communications at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, overseeing all aspects of the Association’s communications, marketing and publications. She has also led strategic client accounts and managed teams at several other strategic communications firms in D.C. Anne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Political Science from Vanderbilt University.

Anne Jenkins

Account Director

As Senior Bookkeeper, Stanley Johnson manages operational expenses, including invoice submissions, check payments and the monitoring of company credit cards. He also assists in creating client invoices, audit requests, account analyses and deposits. Prior to joining the Subject Matter team, Stanley worked as a Senior Accountant at Global Impact, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the world’s most vulnerable people. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Howard University.

Stanley Johnson

Senior Bookkeeper

Tiffany manages large-scale projects that combine video, interactive and digital media elements. She produces video projects and assists in production and post-production. Before joining Subject Matter, Tiffany was an Associate Producer at Sirens Media and an Associate Producer at Discovery Studios. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Political Science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Tiffany Kalmar

Senior Director, Video

As Digital Director, Shane Karp comes to Subject Matter with more than six years of hands-on experience in digital and performance marketing. He has worked on multi-million dollar media campaigns for organizations ranging from the military to S&P 250 companies. Shane is also experienced with a variety of digital analytics programs, media buying and paid social. Prior to joining the Subject Matter team, he served as Senior Digital manager at Weber Shandwick where he worked on a variety of different clients and industries. Shane holds a master’s degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rutgers University.

Shane Karp

Digital Director

As a member of Subject Matter's government affairs team, Peter is responsible for managing client relations, researching legislative and regulatory policy issues, and organizing client events. Prior to joining Subject Matter, Peter interned at Catholic Charities Legal Network, a pro-bono law clinic in Washington, D.C. that provides legal services for low-income and homeless clients. In this role, Peter interviewed prospective clients, assisted the Executive Director with placement of cases and coordinated volunteer attorneys, among other assignments. Peter is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he graduated Cum Laude with degrees in English Literature and History and a minor in Theology.

Peter Kentz

Government Relations

Joon was variously employed as a mechanic, a journalist and a cook before he found a calling that let him to do what he does best: tell stories. Before joining Subject Matter, Joon spent eight years copywriting for Mid-Atlantic creative agencies like Barber Martin in Richmond, VA and MGH in Baltimore, MD. His previous work has helped brands like HCA, Mayo Clinic, nTelos, Southern States and the SPCA create inspiring narratives they could truly call their own.

Joon Kim

Senior Copywriter

As Media Specialist, Brendan coordinates, pitches and produces media tours for Subject Matter clients. Before arriving at Subject Matter, Brendan served as a public affairs intern with the public affairs and political consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker. While there, he was responsible for drafting press releases, pitching reporters, distributing daily news clips and working with senior level staff on government and private sector campaigns. Prior to that, Brendan interned on Capitol Hill with Congressman Don Beyer and Senator Mark Warner. Brendan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from George Washington University.

Brendan Kiviat

Account Coordinator

As Of Counsel to Subject Matter’s Government Relations team, Ed Kutler brings with him over 30 years of deep policy expertise in financial services, tax, energy, technology and healthcare. As a leading government affairs strategist, he is well positioned to help Subject Matter clients with their public policy needs. Before joining the team, Ed ran The Kutler Group, a boutique government and public affairs firm that offers personalized services to all clientele. Prior to that, he worked for The Mercury Group and Clark and Weinstock following his years as Senior Advisor to Minority Whip and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Ed Kutler

Of Counsel

Prior to joining Subject Matter, Barry served as Director of Federal Government Affairs at Microsoft Corporation. In that capacity he managed the company's strategic, legislative and political relationships with Senate Democrats. Before joining Microsoft, Barry served as Counsel to Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA). He advised Senator Kerry on his work before the Senate Small Business, Commerce and Finance Committees. Barry previously worked as an Associate at Dewey Ballantine LLP (now Dewey LeBeouf ) and served as a legislative and policy advocate with the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, working on behalf of 35 affiliated labor organizations in the transportation and building trades sectors. LaSala received his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the School of International Service at American University and graduated cum laude from Frostburg State University.

Barry LaSala

Government Relations

Courtney works closely with corporate, government and nonprofit organizations and all departments across Subject Matter to develop and implement integrated communications strategies. She also leads Subject Matter’s comprehensive media training program. Before joining Subject Matter, Courtney spent more than a decade in journalism, most recently as the Executive Producer, Main Morning Anchor and Evening Reporter for the FOX affiliate in Harrisburg, Penn. Courtney has a B.S.. in Journalism from the University of Maryland and a M.A. in Strategic Public Relations from the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.

Courtney Laydon

Senior Director

In her role as Associate for the Strategic Communications team, Samantha McGee works across all departments of the firm to build and implement our clients’ integrated outreach campaigns. Prior to joining Team Subject Matter, Samantha was an associate at The Harbour Group where she worked with corporate and issues management clients developing thought leadership strategies and promoting corporate initiatives. Before that, she served as an intern at Edelman supporting the public affairs team. Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Samantha McGee

Associate, Strategic Communications

As Designer on the Creative team, Erick Messer develops creative for some of our top clients, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Prior to joining the Subject Matter team, he served as a graphic design intern at idfive and marketing assistant at James Madison University, where he designed marketing materials for the university's recreation center. A lifelong design enthusiast, Erick holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design with minors in Studio Art and Art History.

Erick Messer


Kelly coordinates media outreach for Subject Matter clients including Marriot, Trust for America’s Health and Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. She also conducts targeted, strategic outreach to broadcast outlets across the country. Before joining Subject Matter, Kelly interned in public affairs at FleishmanHillard, where she monitored legislative process and coverage and wrote client-facing analysis. She has also held communications internships at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Amnesty International and on a U.S. congressional campaign. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Comparative Cultures and Politics from Michigan State University.

Kelly Montgomery

Media Specialist

Formerly a communications coordinator at the NFL Players Association, Kaitlin Murphy joins the Subject Matter team as a Social Media Strategist executing digital and social media strategy development. Kaitlin regularly collaborates with teams across the agency to produce cohesive, comprehensive social strategy for clients, while generating and encouraging innovative ideas and solutions. In addition to her tenure at the NFL Players Association, Kaitlin brings with her prior experience as a campaign program manager for the Ronald McDonald House and a contributor for the Bleacher Report. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Furman University.

Kaitlin Murphy

Senior Digital Strategist

With a decade’s worth of experience leading cross-functional teams on B2B and B2C branding and integrated marketing campaigns, Mike brings an upbeat, hands-on style to the account director role at Subject Matter. Previously an account supervisor at public relations agency Padilla, Mike has overseen integrated marketing, public relations, content and crisis communications campaigns for digital, financial services, energy and consulting clients. Mike holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

Mike Nelson

Account Director

As Media Team Director, Rebekah develops targeted outreach efforts to broadcast outlets across the country, including booking and producing satellite and radio media tours. She implements and executes broadcast media strategies for some of our largest clients including Ad Council, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. Prior to joining the Subject Matter team, Rebekah worked as a Conference Coordinator at Gannett, where she managed the booking and planning of all meetings and events with both internal and external clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government, with a minor in Journalism from Regent University.

Rebekah Pepper

Director, Media

As a Content Specialist, Gabriela assists the Federal Services Team efforts with the U.S. Census Bureau. Working specifically with migration, she helps move large amounts of content from outdated systems to newly updated platforms. Prior to working at Subject Matter, Gabriela was a project coordinator at National Geographic. There, she worked on the Global Systems team and helped support multiple business system projects across the company. Gabriela holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from the Virginia Commonwealth University.

Gabriela Perez

Content Specialist, Federal Services

As an Art Director, Bryant develops rich and graphically detailed visuals that tell both strategic and compelling stories for clients big and small. Prior to working at Subject Matter, Bryant oversaw print and digital layouts and developed digital marketing campaigns at Bussolati Associates. Bryant holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Washington.

Bryant Prince

Art Director

Eman is on a mission to make our clients’ content shine. She writes and edits for a variety of projects, with a particular focus on public health and social issues. For 11 years, Eman covered youth homelessness, teen pregnancy and family violence for the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, a federal information service managed by JBS International, Inc. She’s also written for The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Harvard Public Health Review, and other print and online publications.

Eman Quotah

Senior Director, Content

As a developer, Rebecca Reese works with the Technology team to develop websites for our clients. Prior to joining the Subject Matter team, she worked as a Product Manager for where she supported the company with identification of a project’s business requirements, on-time product delivery, quality assurance process and client feedback. Before that she was a Developer at Scout Marketing where she worked on Drupal and WordPress custom development and response theming for national consumer and pharmaceutical divisions. Rebecca studied Interactive Development at The Creative Circus in Atlanta, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Georgia State University.

Rebecca Reese


Neomah provides support to the accounting department; tracking project expenses and completing client and employee document requests. In addition she works as the main vendor liaison, reconciling company expenses and administering employee benefits. Before joining Subject Matter, Neomah earned a Business Administration degree and served as the Assistant Office Manager at the Brand Law Group.

Neomah Roberts

Accounts Receivable / HR Coordinator

Former Home Front intern, Ethan builds and implements creative solutions for our clients. Previously Ethan worked as a multimedia editor at U.S. News & World Report where he handled day-to-day data visualization for the news section and led design efforts on various 2016 Election interactive projects. Ethan graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism.

Ethan Rosenberg

Senior Project Manager

With her eye for beautiful and creative technological implementation, Deanna helps make our clients’ visions come to life. Before coming to Subject Matter, Deanna developed a CMS platform and websites for DealerOn, a web platform and digital marketing service for auto industry clients. She has also worked on various nonprofit projects, including a solar-oven engineering endeavor in Nicaragua. Deanna holds a Bachelor’s in Science and Technology Studies with a minor in Computer Science from Cornell University.

Deanna Steers

Web Developer

During nearly 8 years with former Democratic Leader Richard A. Gephardt, Shanti Stanton was his Floor Assistant, working directly with Members to create and implement the Democratic agenda in Congress and serving as Gephardt's liaison to the Blue Dog and New Democrat coalitions. After that, Stanton served as the Director of Federal Government Relations for UST Public Affairs, Inc. and has been with Subject Matter since 2008 where she manages several clients, including MillerCoors, Churchill Downs and the American Gaming Association.

Shanti Stanton

Government Relations

As Controller at Subject Matter, Steve brings with him more than 10 years of accounting experience. A member of the Finance team, he helps streamline accounting functions for all clients and carries out several accounting processes, from creating customer invoices and reconciling accounts to ensuring that financial statements are produced on time and accurately. Prior to joining Subject Matter, Steve worked for National Media, a national recognized leader in media research, planning and placement for issue advocacy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in information technology from James Madison University and is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Steve Syckes


Acedro is skilled in a variety of design disciplines ranging from conceptual, branding, interactive and art direction. He has a talent for transforming great ideas into engaging creative that captures imaginations. His designs help to influence change in consumer behavior through ideas, creativity and the use of various media. He brings exceptional creative thought and craftsmanship; delivering projects from brief to consumer in partnership with clients, technologies and the rest of the Subject Matter team.

Acedro Todd

Design Director

As Vice President of Broadcast, Sandra is a vital resource to clients that want to break in to the broadcast news cycle. She has a keen eye for what makes a pitch work and forges lasting relationships with national and local producers across the country. Sandra manages and leads client accounts such as Google, Disney, Marriott and 23andMe, implementing outreach and satellite media tour efforts on their behalf. Sandra graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a minor in Business.

Sandra Torres

Vice President, Broadcast

Dan works on the conception and creation of 360-degree ad campaigns. Before joining Subject Matter, he spent three years as an Art Director at Fathom Communications in New York City. He focused on consumer advertising in print, digital, social and broadcast and branding for clients such as Optimum, Amaro Montenegro, YoCrunch, Propel and The Tony Awards. Dan holds a BFA from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York.

Dan Tynan

Senior Art Director

Peter lends his design expertise to a wide range of client projects. He’s designed motion graphics and developed and managed brand assets for prestigious media brands including PBS News Hour, National Geographic, USA Today and Discovery Communications. Whether working on brand identity, advertising or illustration, he brings a strong sensibility for the visual side of brands. Peter has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Corcoran College of Art + Design.

Peter Verastegui

Visual Designer

Jamie is a Capitol Hill veteran steeped in tax and trade policy and experienced in crossing the aisle to achieve legislative results. Jamie’s career in Washington began in the office of Senator Kit Bond, where she drafted a bipartisan amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act that removed regulations in the base bill and protected investors providing needed capital to start-up companies. She subsequently joined the office of Senator Roy Blunt, current Vice Chairman of the Senate Majority Republican Conference. There, she advised Senator Blunt on domestic and international economic policy and worked closely on numerous pieces of legislation including the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB), the Marketplace Fairness Act, swipe fee deregulation and the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. Most recently, Jamie developed and executed strategies for global tax and trade policy at Honeywell International.

Jamie Wall

Government Relations

Jenn works closely with Subject Matter’s content team and clients to write, edit and distribute strategic editorial digital content. Before joining Subject Matter, Jenn was a Paralegal Specialist for the Department of Justice in the Antitrust Division devoted mainly to the Auto Parts Investigation. Jenn holds a B.A. in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University and is excited to add the art of storytelling to her daily work.

Jenn Walton

Writer / Editor

As a member of the Creative Team, Greg concepts and writes integrated campaigns that help clients develop a voice and tone to best represent their brand and tell their story. Prior to coming to Subject Matter, Greg was a Copywriter for Huge Inc. and the voice of several award-winning campaigns for clients, including Audi, Pfizer, Google, Nike and Under Armour. Before that, he was a Brand Creative Copywriter at Capitol One creating original content for their Customer Management Team. Greg holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Longwood University.

Greg Wilson

Senior Copywriter


Adams, Natalie

Afkhami, Hastie Senior Vice President, Digital

Alexander, Stacey Government Relations

Allard, Maggie

Askew, Whitaker Government Relations


Bako, Andrew

Boehret, Katherine

Bousliman, Pat Government Relations

Bridge, Surin

Bryan, Jen

Buchanan, Lauren

Buckley, John Chief Executive Officer

Burks, Joy Vice President, Media

Burton, Lauren


Callebs, Caitlin

Chang, Audrey Senior Vice President, Strategic Communications

Cornelius, Rosemary

Cornish, Nicole President / Chief Operating Officer


Demchuk, Peter

Doherty, Liz

Doyle, Tim


Elmendorf, Steve Partner & Co-Founder Government Relations

Everson, Patrick


Fenton, Kevin

Finkelstein, Elaina

Fischer, Andrea

Foreman, Brian

Free, Jason

Frick, Paul Partner & Co-Founder


Gamboa, Virginia

Geiling, Brittany

Gilligan, Conor


Held, Elizabeth

Holtz, Vaniah

Hudak, Julie


Jaleel, Sarah

Jenkins, Anne

Johnson, Stanley

Jost, Steve Senior Vice President, Content Strategy


Kalmar, Tiffany

Karp, Shane

Kennedy, Kristi Government Relations

Kentz, Peter Government Relations

Kim, Joon

Kiviat, Brendan

Kutler, Ed Government Relations


LaSala, Barry Government Relations

Laydon, Courtney


McGee, Samantha

Messer, Erick

Mikeska, Dianne Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning

Montgomery, Kelly

Murphy, Kaitlin


Nelson, Mike


Pepper, Rebekah

Perez, Gabriela

Plotkin, Annie

Prince, Bryant


Quotah, Eman


Reese, Rebecca

Richards, Kevin Chief Creative Officer

Roberts, Neomah

Roche, Lauren Government Relations

Roig, Carlos Chief Strategy Officer

Rosenberg, Ethan

Ryan, Jimmy Partner & Co-Founder Government Relations


Sallick, Dan Partner & Co-Founder

Siniff, John Senior Vice President, Content

Stanton, Shanti Government Relations

Steers, Deanna

Syckes, Steve


Todd, Acedro

Torres, Sandra Vice President, Broadcast

Tynan, Dan


Verastegui, Peter


Wall, Jamie Government Relations

Walton, Jenn

Wilson, Greg


Ziembicki, Timothy Vice President, Operations

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