Staff

The Western Governors' Association was established in 1984 to represent the 22 westernmost states and territories. The association is an instrument of the Governors for bipartisan policy development, information exchange, and collective action on issues of critical importance to the western United States.

Elias Jaynes

Communications Specialist

[email protected]

(720)897-4537

Elias serves as WGA’s communications specialist, responsible for creating content for the Association’s website, social media accounts, blogs, and reports, as well as coordinating with the press and the public.  

Prior to coming to WGA, Elias worked as an intern and a freelance reporter with Colorado Public Radio and KRCC, and later worked on communications and fundraising for nonprofits and candidates for office in Colorado. He earned a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism from Colorado College in 2023. 

Elias is a passionate backcountry skier and trail runner, and a big fan of good music and baking bread. 

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Anna Caplan

Foundation Manager

[email protected]

Anna Thielen/Caplan graduated in 2019 with a degree in political science from Saint Mary's College of California. In 2021 she joined WGA as a Policy Associate before transitioning into her current role with the Foundation. The Colorado native's portfolio includes project development for Celebrate the West and the Western Governors' Leadership Institute, and Foundation expansion. 

Megan Donovan

Development Specialist

[email protected]

Megan Donovan joined WGA in 2023 to support WGA’s Sponsor Program. Originally from Missouri, she moved to Colorado for graduate school. Prior to joining WGA, Megan received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Missouri – Columbia and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado – Denver. Outside of work, she enjoys attending concerts, rock climbing, hiking, camping, yoga, skiing, and taking advantage of all the natural beauty of the West.      

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Sara Amish

Policy Advisor

[email protected]

(720) 897-4535

Sara Amish serves as a Policy Advisor for WGA, focusing on outdoor recreation and transportation alongside managing WGA's State-Tribal Liaison Network. Her previous experience includes private land conservation and community building as well as trail guiding. Sara was also the 2021 Dukakis Fellow for the state of North Dakota. Overall, Sara has expertise in thinking about the different ways we interact with and travel through our western landscapes. 

Born in western Montana, Sara joined the WGA in 2022. She has B.S. in Conservation Biology from Montana State University and a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University. When she is not thinking about western policy, she is out running or skiing in the mountains or checking out even more books from the library. 

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Abby Pelsmaeker

Policy Advisor

[email protected]

(720) 897-4545

Abby serves as a Policy Advisor, responsible for managing a portfolio that includes mining and minerals, land exchanges, and other natural resources topics. Abby joined WGA in 2022 and worked on the Heat Beneath Our Feet initiative of Colorado Governor Jared Polis, as well as Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s WGA Chair initiative, Decarbonizing the West, and various projects under the Western Governors’ Foundation. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Colorado State University and has previous experience working in startups, nonprofits, and labs. 

Abby is certified in data analytics and visualization and is proficient in a variety of programming languages. Her dedication to excellence extends beyond the office, where she is a passionate fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Outside of WGA, Abby is an avid sports enthusiast and can most likely be found at a beach or at a ballpark. 

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Chennou Xiong

Policy Advisor

[email protected]

(720) 897-4544

Chennou Xiong is a Policy Advisor at WGA, with a focus on cybersecurity, housing, and veteran policy development and advocacy. He joined the WGA in 2021.  His extensive experience includes legislative performance auditing, U.S. Senate internships, and policy research and analysis. His expertise also extends to community and economic development, with a particular emphasis on serving both rural and urban areas.

A native of Colorado, Chennou earned a B.A. in Political Science from Metro State University of Denver and a Master’s in Public Administration from CU Denver's School of Public Affairs, providing him with the expertise to navigate complex challenges.

Outside of his policy work, Chennou's passions shine through. He's an enthusiastic college sports fan as well as a culinary enthusiast, constantly exploring the delightful tastes of the West. Additionally, he finds peace and joy in spending time with his family and hiking through Colorado's breathtaking landscapes, renewing his spirit for the work he loves.

LinkedIn

Amanda Nelson

Meeting Planner

[email protected]

(720) 897-4547

Amanda Nelson leads the WGA Meeting Planning enterprise, with a focus on the Governors' Annual and Winter Meetings. Through AKN Events, the Chicago native contracted with WGA for several years before joining the team in 2019. 

Amanda earned a B.B.A. from the University of Iowa-Henry B. Tippie College of Business.  When not working, you can find her traveling or enjoying the outdoors with her husband and three kids.

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Carrie Hirsch

Administrative Assistant

[email protected]

(720) 897-4531

Carrie Hirsch supports the work of the entire WGA team with logistical, administrative and operational support. She primarily works with the WGA Meeting Planning team, focusing on Governor Chair Initiatives and the Governors' Annual Meeting and Winter Meeting. Her prior experience includes working with the City and County of Denver, as well as not-for-profit organizations that focus on microcredit lending in Latin America, responsible land use planning, and environmental stewardship. Carrie earned a Master’s Degree in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Toni Vigil

Operations Manager

[email protected]

(303) 623-9378

In addition to supporting the work of the Executive Director, Toni Vigil coordinates and schedules appointments for the Policy Director and internal staff, maintains efficiency of the office, analyzes and monitors internal processes and supports a variety of external projects, from Governors' meetings to sponsor events.

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Toni has been with WGA since its inception in 1984. A Colorado native, she enjoys her Colorado sports teams, the beautiful outdoors, as well as spending time with family and friends.

Jack Spina

Communications Director

[email protected]

(720) 897-4543

Jack Spina serves as the Director of Communications for the Western Governors’ Association, overseeing the Association’s website, as well as its content creation and outreach, including livestreams, webinars, podcasts, reports, blogs, photography, newsletters, and social media.  

Prior to joining WGA in 2021, Jack worked as a journalist at the Boulder Daily Camera, Jackson Hole News & Guide, and The New York Daily News, among other publications. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Vermont and an M.S. in Journalism from the City University of New York.

As a Colorado native, Jack enjoys all things outdoors, especially snowboarding in the winter and backpacking, rafting and fly fishing in the summer. He’s also an avid fan of live music and sports. Go Broncos.   

LinkedIn

Steven Emmen

Policy Advisor

[email protected]

(720) 897-4534

Steven Emmen serves as Policy Advisor covering water, energy, air quality, and permitting issues. At WGA he previously worked on Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ Chair initiative, the Heat Beneath Our Feet, examining the development and deployment of geothermal resources throughout the West. Prior to WGA, Steven served as a Regional Representative for a U.S. Senator in the Denver metropolitan area, Legislative Aide in the Colorado State Senate, and most recently worked in the oil and gas industry. 

Born and raised in Colorado, he received his B.A. in History from Colorado State University. When he is not working you can find him, like many westerners, enjoying the great American outdoors. 

LinkedIn

Zach Nowak

Policy Advisor

[email protected]

(720) 259-7663

Zach Nowak serves as a Policy Advisor, where he currently handles WGA’s western agriculture, wildlife conservation, invasive species management, and compensatory mitigation policies.  Before joining WGA, Zach performed grassland ecosystem research for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, applied prescribed fire under a Firefighter Type II certification, and supported the Boone and Crockett Club as a graduate research fellow.  Zach’s unique background in both ecology and social sciences provides an interdisciplinary perspective for natural resource stewardship in the modern world.

Raised in a military family in Alaska, Texas, and across the East Coast, Zach joined WGA in 2022 and holds a Master of Public Service and Administration and a B.S. in Wildlife and Fishery Sciences, both from Texas A&M University.  Outside the office, Zach enjoys backpacking, birdwatching, and hunting small game in the Rockies with his Catahoula hound.

LinkedIn

Jonah Seifer

Senior Policy Advisor

[email protected]

(720) 897-4538

Jonah serves as a Senior Policy Advisor overseeing the Working Lands Roundtable, WGA’s natural resources policy platform.  His policy portfolio includes land management, forestry, wildfire, and disaster preparedness.  Jonah has also worked in other policy areas, including minerals, land transfers, and wild horses.  Prior to joining WGA, Jonah worked as a woodworker at East by West Woodworking, a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and director at the State of the Rockies Project.  Over the duration of his brief career, Jonah has worked for federal, state, and local governments as well as the non-profit sector. 

Jonah grew up in Massachusetts and Vermont before eventually moving to Colorado, where he earned a B.A in Physics and Environmental Science from Colorado College. He went on to earn a Master’s in environmental policy from the University of Colorado Boulder.  When he’s not at work, Jonah is most likely skiing and has been backcountry skiing every month in Colorado for nearly five years.  He also likes to garden as much as he likes to cook and eat, and he is a regular at the weekly “Happy Thursday” cruiser bike ride in Boulder.  

LinkedIn

Kevin Doran

Federal Relations Manager

[email protected]

(720) 647-3586

Kevin serves as federal relations manager.  In this role he is responsible for strengthening WGA’s state-federal relationship and overseeing the association’s standing amongst federal partners in the executive and legislative branches. Prior to joining WGA, Kevin served in Colorado as executive director of a statewide policy association, director of public affairs for an economic development organization, and legislative liaison for a county government.  Before coming to Colorado, Kevin worked in Washington, D.C., for over a decade, including as deputy chief of staff for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, public affairs advisor for a national law firm, chief clerk for the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight, and in the personal office of a U.S. Senator.  

Originally from Illinois, Kevin joined WGA in 2021.  He holds a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish from the University of Dayton, and an M.A. in Government from the Johns Hopkins University. Kevin, his wife Kate, two kids, dog, and cat like to spend time at their family’s cattle ranch on Colorado’s Western Slope.  Kevin also enjoys playing ice hockey, skiing, and exploring the unrivaled majesty of the West. 

LinkedIn

Lauren DeNinno

Deputy Policy Director

[email protected]

(720) 897-4536

Lauren serves as deputy policy director, and assists in the overall management of WGA’s policy development and advocacy efforts.  She also manages Western Governors’ workforce development policy.  Since starting at WGA in 2016, Lauren has worked on a number of policy issues and previously led the Reimagining the Rural West and Workforce Development chair initiatives.

Lauren is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  She graduated from Georgetown University with a B.S. in Foreign Service.  Prior to WGA, she was a research technician at the U.S. Geological Survey working on arctic paleoclimatology.  She enjoys skiing, gardening, and attending rodeos.

LinkedIn

Amy Layton

Finance Manager

[email protected]

(303) 835-3827

Amy Layton serves as the Finance Manager, responsible for financial operations, compliance, and day-to-day accounting activities. She has prior experience in the real estate and legal accounting field.

Born in Colorado, Amy joined WGA in 2023 and received a B.A. in Accounting and Business from Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. In her free time, you can find Amy traveling to as many states and countries as she can, paddleboarding on any of the Colorado lakes or hanging with her husband in Granby.

Troy Timmons

Policy Director

[email protected]

(303) 623-9378

Troy serves as WGA’s Policy Director, responsible for the overall management of WGA’s policy development and advocacy efforts.  He had previously served as WGA’s Director of Federal Relations and Strategic Initiatives.  His prior experience includes work in environmental remediation services and roles in the federal government, including senior policy advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, and professional staff member for the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.  In total, Troy has nearly four decades of state and federal government and private sector experience seeking practical solutions to the challenges facing our nation.

Born in Kansas and raised in Colorado, Troy joined WGA in 2015 and has a B.A. in Political Science from Wheaton College in Illinois.  When he’s not working to advance Western Governors’ policy, Troy can be found hiking or snowshoeing in Colorado’s backcountry, or enjoying the natural beauty found throughout our western states.

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Sarah Olsen

Director of Development

[email protected]

(720) 897-4540

Sarah Olsen serves as WGA’s Director of Development, responsible for the management of WGA’s sponsor program, while overseeing all sponsor relations and development efforts for the Association.  Previously, Sarah had been WGA's long-time meeting planner and consultant for over a decade. She has directed business development and client services in the private sector and ran her own event consulting firm.  

Born and raised in Kansas, Sarah earned a B.S. Degree from Kansas State University and moved out west in 2003 calling Colorado home ever since.  Aside from advocating the impactful and bipartisan work of Western Governors, Sarah enjoys running, hiking, snowboarding, camping, sporting events, live music and spending time with her family and friends.  She can be found up in the mountains often, enjoying the great outdoors and unmatched beauty of our western landscapes.

LinkedIn

Jack Waldorf

Executive Director

[email protected]

(303) 725-8913

Jack Waldorf, born and raised in Colorado, became WGA’s sixth Executive Director in 2023 following nearly a decade at the University of Colorado (CU) System, where he led the federal relations activities for the four-campus system. Prior to joining CU, Jack worked in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, where he focused on policies related to education, health care, and transportation, among other key issues affecting the West.

Jack holds a B.A. in Political Science from CU Boulder and a Master’s in Public Administration from CU Denver’s School of Public Affairs. An outdoor enthusiast and passionate sports fan, Jack enjoys hiking and skiing with his wife, Monica, and their three boys (and black Labrador), while fiercely rooting for his favorite teams - Go Broncos, Buffs, Nuggets, Rockies and Avalanche!

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WGA

Staff

The Western Governors' Association was established in 1984 to represent the 22 westernmost states and territories. The association is an instrument of the Governors for bipartisan policy development, information exchange, and collective action on issues of critical importance to the western United States.

Elias Jaynes

Communications Specialist

[email protected]

(720)897-4537

Elias serves as WGA’s communications specialist, responsible for creating content for the Association’s website, social media accounts, blogs, and reports, as well as coordinating with the press and the public.  

Prior to coming to WGA, Elias worked as an intern and a freelance reporter with Colorado Public Radio and KRCC, and later worked on communications and fundraising for nonprofits and candidates for office in Colorado. He earned a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism from Colorado College in 2023. 

Elias is a passionate backcountry skier and trail runner, and a big fan of good music and baking bread. 

LinkedIn

 

Anna Caplan

Foundation Manager

[email protected]

Anna Thielen/Caplan graduated in 2019 with a degree in political science from Saint Mary's College of California. In 2021 she joined WGA as a Policy Associate before transitioning into her current role with the Foundation. The Colorado native's portfolio includes project development for Celebrate the West and the Western Governors' Leadership Institute, and Foundation expansion. 

Megan Donovan

Development Specialist

[email protected]

Megan Donovan joined WGA in 2023 to support WGA’s Sponsor Program. Originally from Missouri, she moved to Colorado for graduate school. Prior to joining WGA, Megan received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Missouri – Columbia and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Colorado – Denver. Outside of work, she enjoys attending concerts, rock climbing, hiking, camping, yoga, skiing, and taking advantage of all the natural beauty of the West.      

LInkedIn

Sara Amish

Policy Advisor

[email protected]

(720) 897-4535

Sara Amish serves as a Policy Advisor for WGA, focusing on outdoor recreation and transportation alongside managing WGA's State-Tribal Liaison Network. Her previous experience includes private land conservation and community building as well as trail guiding. Sara was also the 2021 Dukakis Fellow for the state of North Dakota. Overall, Sara has expertise in thinking about the different ways we interact with and travel through our western landscapes. 

Born in western Montana, Sara joined the WGA in 2022. She has B.S. in Conservation Biology from Montana State University and a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard University. When she is not thinking about western policy, she is out running or skiing in the mountains or checking out even more books from the library. 

LInkedIn

Abby Pelsmaeker

Policy Advisor

[email protected]

(720) 897-4545

Abby serves as a Policy Advisor, responsible for managing a portfolio that includes mining and minerals, land exchanges, and other natural resources topics. Abby joined WGA in 2022 and worked on the Heat Beneath Our Feet initiative of Colorado Governor Jared Polis, as well as Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s WGA Chair initiative, Decarbonizing the West, and various projects under the Western Governors’ Foundation. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Colorado State University and has previous experience working in startups, nonprofits, and labs. 

Abby is certified in data analytics and visualization and is proficient in a variety of programming languages. Her dedication to excellence extends beyond the office, where she is a passionate fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Outside of WGA, Abby is an avid sports enthusiast and can most likely be found at a beach or at a ballpark. 

LinkedIn

Chennou Xiong

Policy Advisor

[email protected]

(720) 897-4544

Chennou Xiong is a Policy Advisor at WGA, with a focus on cybersecurity, housing, and veteran policy development and advocacy. He joined the WGA in 2021.  His extensive experience includes legislative performance auditing, U.S. Senate internships, and policy research and analysis. His expertise also extends to community and economic development, with a particular emphasis on serving both rural and urban areas.

A native of Colorado, Chennou earned a B.A. in Political Science from Metro State University of Denver and a Master’s in Public Administration from CU Denver's School of Public Affairs, providing him with the expertise to navigate complex challenges.

Outside of his policy work, Chennou's passions shine through. He's an enthusiastic college sports fan as well as a culinary enthusiast, constantly exploring the delightful tastes of the West. Additionally, he finds peace and joy in spending time with his family and hiking through Colorado's breathtaking landscapes, renewing his spirit for the work he loves.

LinkedIn

Amanda Nelson

Meeting Planner

[email protected]

(720) 897-4547

Amanda Nelson leads the WGA Meeting Planning enterprise, with a focus on the Governors' Annual and Winter Meetings. Through AKN Events, the Chicago native contracted with WGA for several years before joining the team in 2019. 

Amanda earned a B.B.A. from the University of Iowa-Henry B. Tippie College of Business.  When not working, you can find her traveling or enjoying the outdoors with her husband and three kids.

LinkedIn

Carrie Hirsch

Administrative Assistant

[email protected]

(720) 897-4531

Carrie Hirsch supports the work of the entire WGA team with logistical, administrative and operational support. She primarily works with the WGA Meeting Planning team, focusing on Governor Chair Initiatives and the Governors' Annual Meeting and Winter Meeting. Her prior experience includes working with the City and County of Denver, as well as not-for-profit organizations that focus on microcredit lending in Latin America, responsible land use planning, and environmental stewardship. Carrie earned a Master’s Degree in Urban & Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Toni Vigil

Operations Manager

[email protected]

(303) 623-9378

In addition to supporting the work of the Executive Director, Toni Vigil coordinates and schedules appointments for the Policy Director and internal staff, maintains efficiency of the office, analyzes and monitors internal processes and supports a variety of external projects, from Governors' meetings to sponsor events.

Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Toni has been with WGA since its inception in 1984. A Colorado native, she enjoys her Colorado sports teams, the beautiful outdoors, as well as spending time with family and friends.

Jack Spina

Communications Director

[email protected]

(720) 897-4543

Jack Spina serves as the Director of Communications for the Western Governors’ Association, overseeing the Association’s website, as well as its content creation and outreach, including livestreams, webinars, podcasts, reports, blogs, photography, newsletters, and social media.  

Prior to joining WGA in 2021, Jack worked as a journalist at the Boulder Daily Camera, Jackson Hole News & Guide, and The New York Daily News, among other publications. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Vermont and an M.S. in Journalism from the City University of New York.

As a Colorado native, Jack enjoys all things outdoors, especially snowboarding in the winter and backpacking, rafting and fly fishing in the summer. He’s also an avid fan of live music and sports. Go Broncos.   

LinkedIn

Steven Emmen

Policy Advisor

[email protected]

(720) 897-4534

Steven Emmen serves as Policy Advisor covering water, energy, air quality, and permitting issues. At WGA he previously worked on Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ Chair initiative, the Heat Beneath Our Feet, examining the development and deployment of geothermal resources throughout the West. Prior to WGA, Steven served as a Regional Representative for a U.S. Senator in the Denver metropolitan area, Legislative Aide in the Colorado State Senate, and most recently worked in the oil and gas industry. 

Born and raised in Colorado, he received his B.A. in History from Colorado State University. When he is not working you can find him, like many westerners, enjoying the great American outdoors. 

LinkedIn

Zach Nowak

Policy Advisor

[email protected]

(720) 259-7663

Zach Nowak serves as a Policy Advisor, where he currently handles WGA’s western agriculture, wildlife conservation, invasive species management, and compensatory mitigation policies.  Before joining WGA, Zach performed grassland ecosystem research for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, applied prescribed fire under a Firefighter Type II certification, and supported the Boone and Crockett Club as a graduate research fellow.  Zach’s unique background in both ecology and social sciences provides an interdisciplinary perspective for natural resource stewardship in the modern world.

Raised in a military family in Alaska, Texas, and across the East Coast, Zach joined WGA in 2022 and holds a Master of Public Service and Administration and a B.S. in Wildlife and Fishery Sciences, both from Texas A&M University.  Outside the office, Zach enjoys backpacking, birdwatching, and hunting small game in the Rockies with his Catahoula hound.

LinkedIn

Jonah Seifer

Senior Policy Advisor

[email protected]

(720) 897-4538

Jonah serves as a Senior Policy Advisor overseeing the Working Lands Roundtable, WGA’s natural resources policy platform.  His policy portfolio includes land management, forestry, wildfire, and disaster preparedness.  Jonah has also worked in other policy areas, including minerals, land transfers, and wild horses.  Prior to joining WGA, Jonah worked as a woodworker at East by West Woodworking, a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and director at the State of the Rockies Project.  Over the duration of his brief career, Jonah has worked for federal, state, and local governments as well as the non-profit sector. 

Jonah grew up in Massachusetts and Vermont before eventually moving to Colorado, where he earned a B.A in Physics and Environmental Science from Colorado College. He went on to earn a Master’s in environmental policy from the University of Colorado Boulder.  When he’s not at work, Jonah is most likely skiing and has been backcountry skiing every month in Colorado for nearly five years.  He also likes to garden as much as he likes to cook and eat, and he is a regular at the weekly “Happy Thursday” cruiser bike ride in Boulder.  

LinkedIn

Kevin Doran

Federal Relations Manager

[email protected]

(720) 647-3586

Kevin serves as federal relations manager.  In this role he is responsible for strengthening WGA’s state-federal relationship and overseeing the association’s standing amongst federal partners in the executive and legislative branches. Prior to joining WGA, Kevin served in Colorado as executive director of a statewide policy association, director of public affairs for an economic development organization, and legislative liaison for a county government.  Before coming to Colorado, Kevin worked in Washington, D.C., for over a decade, including as deputy chief of staff for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, public affairs advisor for a national law firm, chief clerk for the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight, and in the personal office of a U.S. Senator.  

Originally from Illinois, Kevin joined WGA in 2021.  He holds a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish from the University of Dayton, and an M.A. in Government from the Johns Hopkins University. Kevin, his wife Kate, two kids, dog, and cat like to spend time at their family’s cattle ranch on Colorado’s Western Slope.  Kevin also enjoys playing ice hockey, skiing, and exploring the unrivaled majesty of the West. 

LinkedIn

Lauren DeNinno

Deputy Policy Director

[email protected]

(720) 897-4536

Lauren serves as deputy policy director, and assists in the overall management of WGA’s policy development and advocacy efforts.  She also manages Western Governors’ workforce development policy.  Since starting at WGA in 2016, Lauren has worked on a number of policy issues and previously led the Reimagining the Rural West and Workforce Development chair initiatives.

Lauren is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  She graduated from Georgetown University with a B.S. in Foreign Service.  Prior to WGA, she was a research technician at the U.S. Geological Survey working on arctic paleoclimatology.  She enjoys skiing, gardening, and attending rodeos.

LinkedIn

Amy Layton

Finance Manager

[email protected]

(303) 835-3827

Amy Layton serves as the Finance Manager, responsible for financial operations, compliance, and day-to-day accounting activities. She has prior experience in the real estate and legal accounting field.

Born in Colorado, Amy joined WGA in 2023 and received a B.A. in Accounting and Business from Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. In her free time, you can find Amy traveling to as many states and countries as she can, paddleboarding on any of the Colorado lakes or hanging with her husband in Granby.

Troy Timmons

Policy Director

[email protected]

(303) 623-9378

Troy serves as WGA’s Policy Director, responsible for the overall management of WGA’s policy development and advocacy efforts.  He had previously served as WGA’s Director of Federal Relations and Strategic Initiatives.  His prior experience includes work in environmental remediation services and roles in the federal government, including senior policy advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, and professional staff member for the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.  In total, Troy has nearly four decades of state and federal government and private sector experience seeking practical solutions to the challenges facing our nation.

Born in Kansas and raised in Colorado, Troy joined WGA in 2015 and has a B.A. in Political Science from Wheaton College in Illinois.  When he’s not working to advance Western Governors’ policy, Troy can be found hiking or snowshoeing in Colorado’s backcountry, or enjoying the natural beauty found throughout our western states.

LinkedIn

Sarah Olsen

Director of Development

[email protected]

(720) 897-4540

Sarah Olsen serves as WGA’s Director of Development, responsible for the management of WGA’s sponsor program, while overseeing all sponsor relations and development efforts for the Association.  Previously, Sarah had been WGA's long-time meeting planner and consultant for over a decade. She has directed business development and client services in the private sector and ran her own event consulting firm.  

Born and raised in Kansas, Sarah earned a B.S. Degree from Kansas State University and moved out west in 2003 calling Colorado home ever since.  Aside from advocating the impactful and bipartisan work of Western Governors, Sarah enjoys running, hiking, snowboarding, camping, sporting events, live music and spending time with her family and friends.  She can be found up in the mountains often, enjoying the great outdoors and unmatched beauty of our western landscapes.

LinkedIn

Jack Waldorf

Executive Director

[email protected]

(303) 725-8913

Jack Waldorf, born and raised in Colorado, became WGA’s sixth Executive Director in 2023 following nearly a decade at the University of Colorado (CU) System, where he led the federal relations activities for the four-campus system. Prior to joining CU, Jack worked in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, where he focused on policies related to education, health care, and transportation, among other key issues affecting the West.

Jack holds a B.A. in Political Science from CU Boulder and a Master’s in Public Administration from CU Denver’s School of Public Affairs. An outdoor enthusiast and passionate sports fan, Jack enjoys hiking and skiing with his wife, Monica, and their three boys (and black Labrador), while fiercely rooting for his favorite teams - Go Broncos, Buffs, Nuggets, Rockies and Avalanche!

LinkedIn

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