Governor's Staff

Chris Riley, Chief of staff
Riley has worked for Gov. Deal for more than 24 years. He first worked for Deal in the then-state senator's 1992 campaign for Congress and spent the next 17 years working for Deal’s House office, serving most of that time as chief of staff. In 2009, Riley left the congressional office to run Deal’s campaign for governor. A Gainesville native, Riley graduated from North Hall High School and Georgia Southern University. He and his wife, Bambi, have two sons and live in Gainesville. 

Ryan Teague, Esq., Executive counsel
Prior to serving as Gov. Deal’s Deputy Executive counsel, Teague served as Deputy Executive counsel to Gov. Perdue beginning in November of 2009.  Teague previously served as General Counsel to Freedom’s Watch, Inc., a conservative, free market-focused issue advocacy organization based out of Washington, DC. Prior to his work with Freedom’s Watch, Teague was in private practice in Atlanta with McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP. He also served as a law clerk to Chief Judge J.L. Edmondson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. His civic involvement includes service on the Board of the Atlanta Chapter of the Federalist Society. Teague received his law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law and his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Clemson University. He and his wife have two daughters and reside in Atlanta. 

Katie Childers, Deputy chief of staff for policy
After graduating from Terry College of Business at The University of Georgia, Childers earned her master’s in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. In 2011, Childers joined the Governor’s Office after working in the insurance industry as a business development manager and as an intern for Governor Sonny Perdue. She has served as Deal’s health policy advisor and policy director. In this role, she was responsible for overseeing the team of advisors for Deal's policy agenda to legislators, the executive branch, and other stakeholders. Currently, Childers works as the Deputy chief of staff for policy. She and her husband, Will, have one son and attend Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. They reside in Atlanta.

Julia Ayers, Deputy chief of staff for legislative and external affairs
An experienced member of Gov. Deal’s legislative affairs team, Ayers returns to the office after a stint as the head of government relations for the Technical College System of Georgia. She served for most of Deal’s first term as the governor’s liaison to the state House members, after working for Deal for Governor, 2009-2010. Ayers has a bachelor’s degree from Ole Miss. She and her husband, Andy, live in Kennesaw.

David Werner, Chief Operating Officer
Werner serves as Gov. Deal's Chief Operating Officer. A graduate of the University of Georgia and Emory University School of Law, Werner previously served as deputy chief of staff of legislative and external affairs, deputy executive counsel and as the policy advisor on Public Safety. He also held staff positions in both the state House and state Senate. He served as the co-chairman of the Governor's Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform and as co-chairman of the Legislative Affairs Committee of the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia. He is currently a member of the Georgia Ports Authority and the Federalist Society.  He and his wife, Suzanne, have one daughter. They reside in Atlanta and are members of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. 

Teresa MacCartney, Chief Financial Officer, director of the Office of Planning and Budget
MacCartney was appointed as chief financial officer and director of the Office of Planning and Budget by Gov. Deal in October 2012. MacCartney began her career in the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget in 2001. She left in 2003 to become the senior policy adviser for budget and government affairs at the Georgia Student Finance Commission. MacCartney returned to OPB in 2005 as director of the education division and was promoted to deputy director in 2010. While at OPB, she was the state leader for the Federal Stabilization and Education Jobs programs and provided oversight for the divisions of technology and administration. She served as the deputy superintendent for Race to the Top implementation, providing oversight and management of Georgia's Race to the Top application. MacCartney earned a bachelor's degree in Science and a master's degree in Public Administration from Georgia Southern University. She and her husband, Andrew, have two children. They live in Marietta.

Jen Talaber Ryan, Deputy chief of staff for communications
Talaber oversees the governor’s communications department. She has worked as Deal’s deputy communications director since Gov. Deal began his second term. She began work in his first term as a communications specialist, then spent two years as a communications director in Georgia’s U.S. House delegation before returning to Georgia as the spokesperson for Deal’s re-election campaign. Talaber graduated from the University of Florida. She and her husband, Shawn, are parishioners at Christ the King Catholic Church and reside in Atlanta.

Carrie Ashbee, Deputy chief of staff of executive office operations
A native of Marietta, Ashbee began her career in Washington, DC serving with then-Congressman Deal in various positions, including executive assistant and scheduler. She also worked as a pharmaceutical representative covering central Alabama with WraSer Pharmaceuticals before returning to Georgia to join Gov. Deal as his executive assistant. Ashbee graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations. She is a regular volunteer for several community non-profits in the Atlanta area. Carrie and her husband, Blake, have one daughter and live in Atlanta.