Staff

Ryan Alexander

President

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.

Full Bio

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.

Full Bio

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.

Barbara Howe

Digital Communications Manager

Barb joined TCS in February 2014 to help manage and facilitate communications. Previously she was the Communications Coordinator at Farmworker Justice, a DC-based advocacy group for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and has lived, worked, and traveled extensively throughout the Americas, teaching English as a Second Language in Guatemala, Chicago and Florida, interning for Habitat for Humanity in Chile; and living and working with formerly displaced people in rural fishing and farming communities in northwestern Colombia. She has a BA in English from the University of South Florida and an MA in International Relations from the University of Florida.

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

Research and Communications Assistant

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 while managing TCS’ social media profile and facilitating TCS Communications.

Oshoveli Munashimue

Development Manager

Oshoveli joined TCS in 2012 to facilitate implementation of organizational development and fundraising operations. Prior to joining TCS, Oshoveli worked for five years at WITNESS – a human rights organization that trains in video advocacy based in Brooklyn, NY – focusing on all areas of development. Prior to WITNESS, Oshoveli worked in general service at the United Nations Secretariat. Oshoveli holds a B.A. degree in Law, History, and Politics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

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.

Michael Surrusco

Senior Investigator

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.

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

October 24, 2014

Sandy Anniversary: Still Money to Spend, Will It Be Spent Right?

Volume XIX No.43 Wednesday, October 29th will mark the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy hitting the east... Read More

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