December 8, 2021

Cornerstone Government Affairs Expands National Security Team with Addition of Defense, National Security & Appropriations Expertise

House Appropriations Professional Staffer Karyn Richman and Department of the Navy’s Matt Schnappauf join firm

Cornerstone Government Affairs today announced the addition of Karyn Richman and Matt Schnappauf to its federal government relations team. Karyn brings more than 20 years of legislative and political experience in national security, public health, and appropriations, while Matt brings more than 25 years of national security, defense policy, procurement and legislative affairs experience to Cornerstone.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our National Security Team and adding quality people like Karyn and Matt,” said President and Managing Director Geoff Gonella. “Both have significant capabilities, excellent bipartisan reputations and broad and diverse networks of relationships. They will add immediate value to our national security and appropriations clients.”

Karyn joins the firm from the House Committee on Appropriations where for the last four years she served as a professional staff member, the last three of which were spent on the Subcommittee on Homeland Security. While serving on the subcommittee staff, Karyn was responsible for appropriations and oversight of $13 billion in resources for the U.S. Coast Guard, including major recapitalization of air and sea assets, as well as a focus on the operational readiness of the service. Karyn’s additional recent experience includes support for the development of science and technology solutions to protect the nation.

Matt joins Cornerstone after most recently serving as the director, U.S. Navy Liaison Office to the U.S. House of Representatives and Department of the Navy’s deputy chief of legislative affairs. In that capacity, he developed the Navy’s strategic engagement plan in support of legislative priorities and was a key advisor to the Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations during two National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) cycles. His initial congressional experience was as a legislative liaison to the U.S. Senate.

“I’m honored and excited to join Cornerstone’s bipartisan group of highly regarded professionals,” Karyn said. “I look forward to applying my extensive experience in both the legislative and executive branches to contribute to the team’s proven record of advocating on behalf of its clients in support of our nation’s security.”

“I am extremely excited to be joining such a well-respected team of bipartisan professionals at Cornerstone,” Matt said. “The firm’s stellar reputation for delivering results with integrity, collaboration and teamwork is impressive. I look forward to applying my experience and relationships on Capitol Hill, in the Pentagon, and in the Navy operational fleet to achieve our client’s goals and enhance national security.”

Karyn previously worked for the House Appropriations Committee from 2007-2011. Before rejoining the Committee staff in 2017, she led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Washington Office as the acting director and deputy director, developing and implementing the agency’s strategic and legislative goals. Prior to that role, she served as the branch chief for science and regulatory affairs within the Office of Budget at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Karyn began her career in Washington with a six-year tenure at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), focusing on homeland security, emergency and public health preparedness, and biodefense issues.

Matt brings deep relationships within the Navy to the firm, having served in diverse operational and staff roles throughout his career. His extensive Navy background includes experience in command of a U.S. Navy helicopter wing in the Pacific and as commanding officer of a helicopter squadron deployed on an aircraft carrier to the Middle East and Europe. As a requirements officer in the Navy Staff Air Warfare Directorate, he was a champion for enhancing the Navy’s electronic warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare capabilities. Matt also served as a senior executive and flight instructor in a helicopter training squadron, as a human resources manager with the Navy Personnel Command, and in various staff headquarters assignments. He was the U.S. Navy Hudson Fellow to the University of Oxford during Academic Year 2015-2016.