January 13, 2020

Cornerstone Adds Senate Leadership Staff and House Homeland Security and Intelligence Community Expert to its Government Relations Team

Stacy Rich, staff director to Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), and Charles Carithers, professional staff member for the House Committee on Homeland Security, join the firm as principals

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Cornerstone, a leading, bipartisan government relations firm with federal and state reach, announced two new additions to its expanding team: Stacy Rich, Senate Leadership staff director to the Assistant Democratic Leader, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), and Charles Carithers, professional staff member for the House Committee on Homeland Security. Charles joins the firm today, while Stacy joins on Tuesday, January 21.

“We are thrilled to be adding Stacy and Charles to our growing team,” said Geoff Gonella, Cornerstone’s president and managing director. “Both Stacy and Charles have excellent reputations and recognized expertise that will be a tremendous value add to our federal government relations team and clients.”

With nearly 17 years of experience working in the Senate Democratic Leadership, Stacy Rich joins the firm from Sen. Murray’s office, where she has served as the leadership staff director since 2013. As a top aide to Sen. Murray, the third most senior Democrat in the U.S. Senate, Stacy provided strategic counsel on all major policy debates, advising the Senator on legislative strategy, leadership planning, member priorities and outreach, and floor activity, while also supporting the Senator’s work as Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and as second most senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, on which Sen. Murray serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS). Stacy’s leadership responsibilities also included helping to craft and implement floor communications strategies and messaging efforts for the Democratic Caucus. Stacy began her career on Capitol Hill in 2002 in the office of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and subsequently served as a part of the floor team in the Democratic Cloakroom under both Leader Daschle and former Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

Charles Carithers joins Cornerstone from the House Committee on Homeland Security, where he served as professional staff advising Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) on various national security and intelligence matters. Before joining the Committee, Charles spent 11 years in the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), having served in various leadership capacities, including the associate deputy director of public affairs for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and a senior policy officer developing national level policies governing the IC within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Charles also served as a Brookings Institution legislative fellow with the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate where he advised then Ranking Member Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) and Committee staff on matters related to foreign policy and national security. Charles is a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations and the recipient of the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award and Medal and the Secretary of Defense Global War on Terrorism Award and Medal.

“It has been an honor to work for Sen. Murray and with her incredible team these past twelve years and with the exceptionally talented Senate leadership and floor staff over nearly two decades,” said Stacy. “I’m delighted to join the highly regarded bipartisan team of experts and advocates at Cornerstone and look forward to using my experience, skills, and understanding of federal policy, Congressional leadership, and the legislative process to support our clients’ advocacy goals and help them fight for their priorities.”

“It is truly exciting to be part of a bipartisan team rich in expertise here at Cornerstone,” said Charles. “I look forward to expounding on my experience from the Intelligence Community and Capitol Hill to continue to mature how the executive and legislative branches and private industry are thinking about the ever-evolving national security landscape.”