2020 Speechwriters Fellows

David Chiokadze is the speechwriter for Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary (DHS), Chad Wolf. Previously, he served as senior advisor and speechwriter for the U.S. Small Business Administrator. In 2015, David joined the Trump campaign where he served as Rhode Island state director during the presidential primaries and Florida deputy communications director during the general election. After President Trump’s electoral victory, David joined the presidential transition in Washington, D.C. and has been an appointee in the Trump administration since January 2017.

Garrison Grisedale is from Morgan Hill, California, and works at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He received his degree in politics from Hillsdale College, where he was a regular columnist for The Collegian, the campus newspaper. Outside of work, Garrison enjoys reconnecting with nature through hunting, fishing, and practicing archery.

James Hitchcock is a Speechwriting and Policy Advisor in Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) office. Prior to his Senate work, he served as editorial assistant to David Brooks and Ross Douthat at The New York Times, where he edited columns on the Opinion page and, before that, as an editor at RealClearPolitics. A native of Evansville, Indiana, he graduated from Williams College in 2015.

Kyle Huwa is a speechwriter at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). He previously served as the Communications Director for Congressman Ken Buck of Colorado, worked as a communications consultant in the private sector, and spent time in Central America where he volunteered for a non-profit. Kyle holds a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University and enjoys reading, being outdoors, drinking espressos, and, of course, writing.

Maria Jeffrey is Director of Speechwriting and Strategic Communications for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Before serving in this role, she was Sen. Cruz’s press secretary for two years. Prior to her time in Sen. Cruz’s office, Maria was communications director for Axiom Strategies, where she developed and executed high profile crisis communications and media campaigns. Her other professional roles include serving as communications director for the late Congressman Walter Jones and political director for the National Federation of Republican Women. Maria earned a bachelor’s degree in Classics from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. She lives in the D.C. area with her husband Ryan and two children, Grace and Joseph.

Katie Johnson is a speechwriter at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) where she focuses on Federal workforce policy. Prior to her role at OPM, she worked as the speechwriter at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). She has also worked as a digital content writer with Americans for Prosperity and as lead copywriter at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, where she has ghostwritten content for Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, and then Candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign cycle. Her work has appeared in The Wisconsin State Journal, Racine Journal Times, and Minneapolis Star Tribune. She most recently served as Chair of the Arlington Falls Church Young Republicans through Fall 2019. Katie is a native of Mukwonago, Wisconsin. She currently serves on the board for the Wisconsin State Society in Washington, D.C. and was named Wisconsin’s Cherry Blossom Princess in the 2014 National Cherry Blossom Festival and Right Wisconsin’s “Right Woman to Watch” Award in 2013. Katie earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse.

Josh Lee is the chief speechwriter for the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). His speeches have been delivered to numerous domestic and foreign audiences, including leading industry and political stakeholders. Mr. Lee’s writings have also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Daily Herald, Houston Chronicle, and The Hill, among other publications. Previously as a presidential writer at the White House, he produced proclamations, event messages, constituent policy letters, and other written material for President Donald J. Trump. He earned a B.A. in politics from Hillsdale College. And as a native of Utah, Mr. Lee enjoys apprising everyone east of the Mississippi River of what a respectable ski resort looks like.

Austin McLaughlin is a Presidential Writer in the Office of Presidential Correspondence at the White House. In that position, he writes proclamations, messages, and personal responses on behalf of President Donald J. Trump. Prior to his current role, Austin worked for Gartner, Inc., where he published whitepapers and created case studies for the firm. He has previously worked on Bob Stefanowski’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign in his home state of Connecticut and interned in the House of Representatives for Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.). Austin holds a B.A. in Government and History from Cornell University.

Charlotte Schuyler serves as Messaging Editor and Senior Writer for Donor Communications at The Heritage Foundation. In this role, she uses her writing to inspire, inform, and honor Heritage Foundation members across the country. She has written for Heritage President Kay C. James, Sen. Jim DeMint, and Heritage Founder Ed Feulner, among others. In addition to major fundraising and stewardship pieces, she writes speeches and op eds for Heritage leadership to convey the vision and mission of The Heritage Foundation. Her op eds have appeared in The Washington Times and The Daily Signal. She is also the managing editor for Heritage Members News and the founder of Heritage’s Young Leaders magazine. Charlotte has lent her talents to the wider conservative movement as a freelance writer and editor for clients including Prager University in California. She began her fundraising and writing career in 2008 as a philanthropy manager at the National Wildlife Federation. She earned her undergraduate degree at George Mason University, where she majored in English and minored in journalism.

Matt Winesett is Digital Director and Speechwriter for Congressman Brian Mast (R-Fla.). Previously he was the managing editor of AEIdeas, the public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute, as well as co host of Banter, AEI’s longest running podcast. He graduated with highest distinction from the University of Virginia, where he studied Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law (PPL) and History. His writing has appeared in National Review.