Ryan Alexander


Ryan Alexander joined Taxpayers for Common Sense as president in 2006, after serving on the board for more than seven years. She testifies regularly in Congress on a wide range of topics relating to federal spending, subsidies, and fiscal policy, and her comments have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and on CNN, Fox News, CBS News, ABC News, and NPR, among other outlets.

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Steve Ellis

Vice President

Steve joined TCS in 1999 and serves as Vice President, overseeing programs and serving as a leading media and legislative spokesperson. A persistent critic of the mounting budget deficit and federal fiscal policy, Steve has testified before numerous Congressional Committees and has appeared on national network news programs, including programs on CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and NPR. His expertise ranges from earmarks to flood insurance and a lot of spending issues in between.

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Sohini Baliga

Director of Communications

Sohini comes to TCS with an extensive background in marketing and communications, business development, and event management. Prior to joining TCS in 2017, she consulted with organizations and served on boards that were starting up, relaunching, or turning around. Born in India and raised partly in the Middle East, Sohini came to the US for college and stayed. She has a BA (UCLA) and an MA (Rutgers-Newark) in English. 

Nick Cox

Policy Analyst

Nicholas joined TCS in 2017 as an Agriculture Policy Analyst. Before joining TCS, Nicholas worked in state-level research and advocacy for several organizations. Originally from Indiana, he graduated with a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from Florida State University. 

Morgan Ewing

Development and Operations Associate

Morgan joined TCS in 2017 after working in the private sector as an Operations Manager. Prior to that he served as the Director of Finance for political campaigns in California, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. As well as Campaign Director for non-profit donor campaigns in Washington, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Morgan received his B.A. in History from Ithaca College.

Autumn Hanna

Senior Program Director

Autumn joined TCS in 2000 and directs the group’s Energy and Natural Resource campaigns. During her tenure at TCS, Autumn has led legislative and outreach efforts to reform federal policy covering natural resources, including hardrock mining, energy subsidies, carbon pricing, western water, and integrated water projects.  She is the lead author of several reports, including Green Scissors: Cutting Wasteful and Environmentally Harmful Spending, Smart Water Strategies, Subsidy Gusher, and Subsidizing Oil Shale. A frequent source for investigative reporters, her work is regularly cited in the press. Autumn is a recognized expert on financing mechanisms, including federally-backed energy loan guarantees; royalty collection for public lands; and supports for unconventional fossil fuels. Autumn first began working on energy and natural resource issues at the Penn State Center for Sustainability. She has studied at the National University in Heredia, Costa Rica and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. from Penn State University Schreyer Honors College.

Kristoffer Hellesmark

Digital Communications Manager

Kristoffer joined TCS in 2016 after graduating from the George Washington University with a M.A. in Global Communications. Prior to joining TCS, Kristoffer worked for the MenEngage Alliance, an international coalition dedicated to engaging men in the fight for gender equality. Originally from Norway, Kristoffer moved to Texas in 2007 where he attended the University of Texas at San Antonio and received a B.A. in Political Science. At TCS, Kristoffer uses his experience with media production, web development, and social media promotion to enhance TCS’ digital presence. 

Wendy J. Jordan

Senior Policy Analyst

Wendy has been in Washington, working on issues related to national security for more than thirty years. Before she joined Taxpayers for Common Sense, she ran her own lobbying and consulting firm for seven years.  Wendy also ran the Washington office for a mid-sized defense contractor as its Vice President of Government Relations. Prior to that she was a political appointee at the Department of Defense for six years during the Clinton Administration, serving in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy and the Office of the Secretary of Defense in several capacities. She has also worked in the Washington office of a major, nation-wide, law firm.  The firm hired her after her time on Capitol Hill where she worked for both a Democrat involved in high-tech defense issues and a Republican Member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Wendy received her B.A. in political science from the University of Maine at Orono and her M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics.

Michael Maragos

Policy Analyst

Michael joined TCS in 2013 shortly after graduating from the University of Miami where he received a B.S. in Microbiology & Immunology and a B.A. in Philosophy.  Prior to TCS, Michael served on the executive board of multiple student organizations, helping charitable groups raise money for Children’s Miracle Network and the American Heart Association.  He gained research experience while working at the laboratory bench with researchers at Rush University and the University of Miami. Michael uses this research background to conduct deep dives into data for the Energy and Natural Resources team. 

Ike Ashley Obi

Digital Communications Associate

Ike joined TCS in 2017 shortly after graduating from Georgetown University with his M.A. in International Development & Ethics. Prior to joining TCS, Ike worked as a Public Affairs Specialist for a government agency and as a freelance graphic designer. Hailing from New York City, Ike earned his B.A in Political Science and Visual Communications from Purdue University. At TCS, Ike leverages his political background with his passion for communications to craft TCS’ digital messaging.

Joshua Sewell

Senior Policy Analyst

Joshua Sewell, a fifth-generation Missouri native, manages research and outreach on TCS efforts to reform the Army Corps of Engineers, agriculture issues, and general government transparency. Prior to joining TCS in 2007, Joshua spent the 2006 election cycle in southwest Montana, serving as the Membership Director and Assistant Site -Manager at Project Vote Smart, a national non-partisan, nonprofit voter education organization. Joshua received a B.A. in History, with honors, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Missouri.

Brian Schubiner

Research Associate

Brian joined TCS in 2017 as a Research Associate with the Energy and Natural Resources team. Before joining TCS, Brian worked for the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to that, he spent time on Capitol Hill working in a member’s office in the House of Representatives. Originally from Detroit, he attended the University of Michigan and received a B.A. with majors in Political Science and History. Brian uses his expertise in energy and experience in the legislature and executive to provide TCS with substantive energy content. 

Michael Surrusco

Development Director

Mike has worked in the field of investigative research for the last 12 years. Most recently, Mike was the Director of Research at Common Cause, where he led research and reporting projects documenting the efforts of special interest groups to influence federal legislation through campaign contributions, lobbying, and other tactics. Mike also worked as a Lead Researcher at the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. Before that he was Senior Researcher for Public Citizen Congress Watch. Mike holds a M.A. in Economic Development from American University, and degrees in economics and computer applications from University of Notre Dame.

David Wentworth

Senior Economist

David joined TCS in 2017 with 30 years of experience as a tax policy expert working on a broad range of domestic and international tax issues. Prior to joining TCS, David was a Senior Economist in the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund, Vice President (Research) at the American Council of Life Insurers, a Fiscal Economist at the Office of Tax Policy of the U.S. Treasury, and a Senior Manager in the Policy Economics Group of KPMG Peat-Marwick. David holds degrees from Yale University and Sarah Lawrence College.

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October 20, 2017

Farming for Cash Behind Closed Doors

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