Public Policy Staff

Greater Houston Partnership (GHP)

Public Policy

Public Policy Staff

Ted Geer, Director, Federal Government Affairs and Public Policy

In Ted's current position, located in Washington, DC, he directs federal, state and local advocacy for the Partnership. He joined the Partnership in fall 2014 and was based out of Houston until summer 2017. While in Houston, he worked closely with the Partnership’s Municipal Finance Task Force to develop expertise on the City of Houston’s finances and pension systems. Ted played a key role in the passage of the Houston pension reform bill during the 85th Legislative Session. He worked closely with Partnership leaders, as well as legislative staff in Austin and Houston, to tactfully navigate the bill through the Legislature and on to the Governor’s desk while ensuring it aligned with the Partnership's principles. Ted has a background in public policy and finance, having worked for the Cato Institute in Washington D.C., the Treasurer of the State of Ohio, a national municipal financial advisory firm in New Jersey and the Columbus, Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

Steven Will, Manager, Public Policy

Steven joined the Partnership's public policy team in January 2016, having worked three sessions for members of the Texas House of Representatives. He served as legislative director for the Texas State Representative Stephanie Klick and for State Representative William "Bill" Callegari (former Representative for Katy, TX). Steven has a master's degree in political science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a B.A. in Political Science from Vanderbilt University and further legislative experience in Colorado, Maryland and the U.S. Senate. He brings experience in various areas that are important to the Partnership from public pensions to health care. Steven worked to defend various state-level economic development and environmental programs that came under scrutiny during the 85th legislative session. He also acted as the Partnership's liaison to the Metro 8 Chambers of Commerce.

Jenny Philip, Vice President, Public Policy

Jenny leads the work of the policy team with a goal of ensuring both meaningful member engagement and substantive committee deliberations. Jenny joined the Partnership in 2010 and previously served as director of the Research Division. She has been integral to a number of major economic development wins and is a trusted resource for many members. She has given more than two hundred presentations to Partnership member companies, economic development allies and chambers, along with national conferences and foreign trade delegations. Jenny received a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University. While in D.C., she conducted policy analysis at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and she also worked at the U.S. Department of Labor on identifying labor rights issues. She serves on the board of the Collaborative for Children and is an alumna of the Center for Houston’s Future Leadership Forum. Jenny is a native Houstonian and graduated with a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Chase Kronzer, Manager, Public Policy

Chase joined the Partnership’s public policy team in the fall of 2016. With a B.S. in communications and a master’s degree in public administration, Chase has worked on public policy issues at all levels of government. Prior to joining the Partnership, he held positions in foreign policy at the Cato Institute, state government policy and budgeting at the Legislative Budget Board and health care consultancy at an international health care advising and consulting firm. He currently manages a portfolio of the Partnership’s committees including the Energy Advisory Committee, Environment Advisory Committee, Health Care Advisory Committee, Transportation Advisory Committee, Infrastructure Advisory Committee, Local Relations Committee, and the Quality of Place and Flood Resiliency Task Forces.

Ben Melson, Manager, Public Policy

Ben is responsible for managing the Partnership’s education policy committees as well as our education-related advocacy efforts. Ben has seven years of experience working at the state capitol. Most recently, he was Chief of Staff for State Representative Kevin Roberts. Prior to that, he was State Representative Dan Huberty's Legislative Director and was tasked with authoring HB4, Governor Abbott's high-quality Pre-K program initiative. He has a history of working closely with legislators, business leaders, school districts and interest groups to improve education in Texas. Ben graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.A. in Political Science. He and his wife recently welcomed their son Rhett Austin.

Sophia Guevara, Analyst, Public Policy

Sophia joined the Partnership's public policy team in the summer of 2017 after completing a one-year fellowship with the Partnership's UpSkill Houston initiative. Sophia provides analytical support to the team and manages key aspects of long-term strategic projects. Sophia graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2016.

Jessica Ruland, Coordinator, Public Policy

Jessica supports the Partnership's policy committees by organizing meetings and engaging with Partnership members. She joined the Partnership in August 2018 after completing a fellowship in Washington D.C. for United States Congressman Gene Green. Jessica brought her skills in policy research, communications and constituent relations back to Houston through her internship with City of Houston Council Member Michael Kubosh after Hurricane Harvey. Jessica earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Houston.

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