September 16, 2021

Cornerstone Government Affairs Extends Reach in Texas and Georgia

As firm continues to grow, Cornerstone expands state footprint with two new hires, Ross Giesinger and Chris Carpenter

Cornerstone Government Affairs, a leading bipartisan public affairs and consulting firm, announced today expanded capabilities in Texas and Georgia with the addition of two new team members: Ross Giesinger, policy advisor to the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, and Chris Carpenter, longtime Georgian government affairs professional and campaign manager. The new capabilities Ross and Chris bring to Cornerstone mark a significant expansion of the firm’s national footprint, adding to the firm’s overall reach with offices in Washington, D.C., Baton Rouge, La., Des Moines, Iowa, Houston, Texas, Jackson, Miss., Chicago, Ill., Austin, Texas, Atlanta, Ga., Annapolis, Md., Springfield, Ill., Oklahoma City, Okla., Denver, Colo., Dover, Del. and Augusta, Maine.

“We are really delighted to have two professionals like Ross and Chris joining the team,” Managing Director Campbell Kaufman said. “They have defined their careers by being the adults in the room and we look forward to having their insight, expertise and relationships working on behalf of Cornerstone’s clients.”

With more than a decade of experience and relationships within the Texas Legislature, working in positions for both the House and Senate chambers, Ross joins Cornerstone after most recently serving as a senior policy advisor to Dade Phelan, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. During his time in this role, Ross monitored activity in the House Committees on State Affairs and Elections, and drafted and advanced several major pieces of legislation related to the Texas electric utility market post Winter Storm Uri — including SB 3, the most comprehensive reform of Texas energy regulation in the last 20 years. Before working for Speaker Phelan, Ross served as a director for the Texas Senate Committee on Health & Human Services, drafting complex legislation and analyzing agency appropriation requests. A lawyer with a degree from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, Ross started his career at the Texas Legislative Counsel, eventually moving on to serve as general counsel and legislative director for the office of State Senator Lois Kolkhorst.

“I am excited to deploy the knowledge and skills I have developed during my time with the Texas Senate and House of Representatives to build on Cornerstone’s outstanding reputation of client services and success,” said Giesinger. “While I am somewhat saddened to exit state service after 11 years, I look forward to contributing to the development and prosperity of our state in my new role. Cornerstone’s bipartisan, collaborative approach is perfectly suited to help clients succeed in Texas and across the nation.”

An attorney and consultant who has worked in politics, government and public affairs in Washington, DC and throughout the South, Chris most recently served as a partner with the with the Garrett McNatt Hennessey & Carpenter 360 team in Atlanta. Throughout his career, Chris has worked with clients to develop and execute strategic public affairs solutions at all levels of government and policy. As a political consultant and policy strategist he is a veteran of numerous Democratic federal, state and local races. With extensive experience on Democratic gubernatorial, statewide, congressional, and ballot initiative campaigns, Campaigns and Elections magazine has recognized him as one of the leading “Georgia Influencers,” naming him one of the “Top 10” political insiders in the state. Chris has also been named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by Georgia Trend magazine and a “Rising Star in the Legal Community” by the FCDR. In government, Chris served as legislative counsel to Georgia Governor Roy Barnes, and as the chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor. He also served as the legal adviser to several committees in the Georgia General Assembly. Chris also worked in the private sector as a trial lawyer. He is a cum laude graduate of Wofford College, and holds a J.D. from the Emory University School of Law.

“I am thrilled to join such a talented team of professionals,” said Carpenter. “Cornerstone has a stellar reputation for client service and a proven track record of delivering results. I look forward to contributing to that success in Georgia and across the country.”