Key People-Former Gov. Mitt Romney
Free and Strong America PAC, Lexington, MA    ...formed April 2008
  [website, FEC]

(page updated March 29, 2011)

Honorary Chairman  Former Gov. Mitt Romney

Executive Director  Matt Rhoades

(Announced Feb. 15, 2010)  A vice President with DCI Group, May 2007-Feb. 2010.  Communications director on Romney's presidential campaign, Jan. 2007-March 2008.  A deputy communications director in charge of research for the RNC during the 2006 election cycle. Research director for the 2004 Bush/Cheney re-election campaign.  Deputy research director at the RNC, 2003-04.  White House Liaison at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in the Bush Administration, and earlier an Associate Director in the White House Presidential Personnel Office.  B.A. from Syracuse University, 1997; and an M.A. from The George Washington University, 1999.

Chief of Staff to the Executive Director  Kelli Harrison

Executive assistant to the campaign manager on Romney for President.  Graduate of Tufts University, 2007.

Chief Operating Officer and Counsel  Louis Tavares

Deputy national finance director on the Romney for President campaign.  Associate legal counsel in the Office of Gov. Mitt Romney, 2005-06.  Associate at Ropes & Gray LLP, 2004-05.  J.D. from Boston College Law School, 2004; B.A. in political science and economics from Tufts University, 2001.

Chief Information Officer  Bruce Nilson

Also managing partner at Minuteman Strategy, LLC.  Manager of headquarters operations at Romney for President, Dec. 2006-April 2007. Operations coordinator on the Healey for Governor campaign, 2005-06.  Bentley University.

Director of Operations  Will Ritter

Special assistant to Mitt Romney on the Romney for President campaign.  Attended Northeastern University.

Senior Advisor  Beth Myers

Principal at the Shawmut Group.  Longtime aide to Romney; managed his 2007-08 presidential campaign and in 2006 directed his Commonwealth PAC.  Myers served as chief of staff in the Governor's office, starting from the outset of the Romney administration and earlier was an advisor on his gubernatorial campaign.  Chief of staff to state Treasurer Joseph Malone for five years.  Worked in Texas with Karl Rove during the 1980s.  Graduate of Tufts University, 1979.

Senior Advisor  Peter G. Flaherty II

Principal at the Shawmut Group.  Advisor on Romney's 2007-08 presidential campaign.  Deputy chief of staff in the Governor's office throughout Romney's term.  Two years as vice president of Walden Media, a film, television, and theatre company co-founded by his brother.  Suffolk County assistant district attorney, homicide unit.  J.D. from New England School of Law, 1997.  B.A. in economics from College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA), 1987.

Senior Advisor  Eric Fehrnstrom  +

Principal at the Shawmut Group. Traveling press secretary on Romney's 2007-08 presidential campaign.  Communications director to Gov. Romney; joined the Romney campaign in March 2002.  Senior vice president at Hill, Holliday advertising agency, 1999-2002.  Assistant State Treasurer (media relations) for state Treasurer Joseph Malone, 1994-98 and campaign manager and communications director on Malone's unsuccessful 1998 campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.  Worked for a decade as a journalist, starting at a Boston-area weekly and then for almost nine years at the Boston Herald, 1985-94, finishing as Statehouse bureau chief.  B.S. in journalism from Boston University, 1984.

Communications Advisor  Andrea Saul

(announced March 3, 2011)  Press Secretary for Carly Fiorina’s U.S. Senate race in California.  Communications director for Gov. Charlie Crist during his recent U.S. Senate run but resigned in April 2010 upon his decision to switch party affiliation.  Press secretary to U.S Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) during much of 2009.  Director of media affairs for McCain-Palin, responsible for organizing all television, radio and surrogate activity.  Director of media affairs at the Republican National Committee, 2007-08.  Associate account executive at DCI Group, 2005-07.  Graduate of Vanderbilt University, 2004.

Policy Director  Lanhee Chen

(from Jan. 2011, announced March 28, 2011)  Most recently a visit scholar at the University of California's Institute of Governmental Studies.  Chen was the deputy campaign manager and policy director on California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner's campaign for governor, 2009-10.  Associate attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, 2008-09.  Chief domestic policy adviser during Romney's 2007-08 campaign for president. Senior counselor to the Deputy Secretary at HHS, 2008.  A health policy adviser to Bush-Cheney ’04.  Ph.D. in political science, J.D., A.M. in political science, and A.B. in government, all from Harvard University.

Finance  Spencer Zwick (SJZ LLC, Lexington, MA)

A managing partner of Solamere Capital, LLC, a firm he co-founded with with Tagg Romney and Eric Scheuermann.  National finance director of Romney for President.  Deputy chief of staff and COO in the Governor's office.  Worked in the Executive Office of the Salt Lake City Olympic Organizing Committee for the Winter Games of 2002.  Attended the University of Utah and graduated from Brigham Young University.

Fundraising Consultants
Web and Phone Service/E-Strategy Consulting  Targetted Victory LLC (Alexandria, VA)
Telemarketing for PAC  FLS Connect LLC (St. Paul, MN)
SCM Associates (Dublin, NH)

On Jan. 13, 2011, Real Clear Politics reported that Rich Beeson will be political director and Neil Newhouse pollster of a "near-certain presidential bid."

Rich Beeson
Partner at FLS Connect.  Political director at the RNC in the 2008 cycle (announced Jan. 2007).  Joined Feather, Larson & Synhorst, approx. April 2005At the RNC from 1997 to 2005, Beeson worked as an RNC regional political director and regional finance director for the Western region.  National field director for Americans Back in Charge.  Organizational director on Bruce Benson's 1994 gubernatorial campaign against Roy Romer in Colorado.  From Colorado.

Neil Newhouse

A partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies.  Previously executive Vice-President of The Wirthlin Group.  Graduated from Duke University and attended graduate school at the University of Virginia.  Originally from Kansas City.


PAC Treasurer  David Kochel

Owner of Redwave Communications in Des Moines.  Served as senior Iowa advisor on Romney's Iowa campaign in 2007-08.  Executive vice president at DCI Group, Dec. 1996-Feb. 2002.  Managed Lamar Alexander's Iowa campaign in 1999.  Executive director of the Michigan Republican Party for April-Dec. 1996.  Executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa in 1995-96.  B.A. in political science from Iowa State University, 1987.


Senior Advisor/Strategist  Jim Merrill

(reported by John DiStaso March 22, 2011) Managing director of Devine Strategies in Concord, NH (>).  Senior advisor on Ovide Lamontagne's 2010 campaign for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.  Director of Romney's 2007-08 New Hampshire primary campaign, after  serving as chairman of Romney's The Commonwealth PAC NH in the 2006 cycle.  Member of the Devine Millimet Law firm and served as legal counsel to the New Hampshire Republican Party.  Prior to joining Devine Millimet, Merrill spent over two years on the staff of former New Hampshire Gov. Stephen E. Merrill.  New Hampshire field director for the successful 2000 general election campaign of George W. Bush and New Hampshire Grassroots Co-Chairman for President Bush’s re-election campaign in 2004.  J.D. from Franklin Pierce Law Center, 2001.  B.A. from Gettysburg College, 1994.

Director  Jason McBride

(reported by John DiStaso March 22, 2011) Deputy political director at the RNC, March 2010 to early 2011.  Deputy director of the Workforce Fairness Institute, Jan. 2009-March 2010.  Regional manager for Freedom's Watch, April-Dec. 2008.  Michigan state director on Romney's 2007-08 presidential campaign.  Executive director of the House Republican Campaign Committee (in that position, he was the lead fundraiser).  Prior to that McBride worked for Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, the 2002 Dick Posthumus for Governor Campaign, as deputy political director for the Michigan State Republican Committee, and on the 2000 Mike Rogers for Congress campaign.  Graduate of Michigan State University, 1995.  Originally from Shelby Township, Michigan.