President and Co-Founder
Rick Ridder is President and Co-Founder of RBI Strategies and Research, a former presidential campaign manager and a senior consultant for six other presidential campaigns. Rick has consulted for numerous U.S. Congressional, gubernatorial, and state and local initiative campaigns. Internationally, he has worked in over 23 nations including the successful campaigns of six heads of state. His firm is one of the few firms to win Pollie Awards (the Oscars of the political industry) for creative efforts, technology applications, and management capabilities (International Consultant of the Year). Rick has also been recognized with the “Award of Achievement” from the Gleitsman Foundation for “commitment and leadership initiating social change.” He has written for “Salon,” “Campaigns and Elections,” “Australian Financial Review, “RealClear Politics,” and “The Denver Post”. He has appeared on “The Daily Show,” all major US networks, the BBC, Australian Broadcasting and a number of foreign broadcast networks. His book, Looking for Votes in All the Wrong Places, received top honors for “Humor” and “Politics” from the Colorado Independent Publishers Book Association.
Rick holds a B.A. from Middlebury College, a M.S. from Boston University, and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies. He lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife and business partner, Joannie Braden.
Vice-President and Co-Founder
Joannie Braden has been involved in politics for almost 30 years. Since starting RBI with her husband, she has been integral to every aspect of the firm’s development. As managing partner, Joannie has oversight of all RBI operations, clients, projects, and marketing efforts.
Her expertise includes campaign strategy, voter contact, survey research, and budgeting. Joannie enjoys working with both candidates and non-profits, especially women’s reproductive health advocates and environmental groups. She has worked closely with clients on ad creation, messaging and media placement. She has been involved in campaigns and campaign training programs in Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, and Sweden.
She is a yoga and fitness enthusiast, a discriminating coffee drinker, and an avid reader. She has a working knowledge of Spanish and holds a B.A. from Bennington College.
Faye Diamond advises candidates, membership associations, and non-profit organizations. Her legal, organizational and political skills bring considerable dimension to RBI’s strategic consulting and research services.She specializes in campaign management and strategic consulting for candidates and statewide ballot initiatives and has additional expertise in campaign finance and legal compliance for congressional campaigns. Her work with RBI’s clients ranges from coalition building and grasstops lobbying to framing message, theme, and content for direct mail.
She began her professional career at the National Women’s Political Caucus and went on to work for Governor Dick Lamm, first on his 1982 re-election campaign and then on his legislative staff. Faye has managed two state legislative races and worked on various federal, local and referenda campaigns, including serving as UniServ Director for the Colorado Education Association, as the Deputy Campaign Manager on a U.S. Senate campaign, and as Comptroller and Compliance Officer for the Denver International Airport campaign. She has been active in Democratic Party politics, serving as Finance Director for the House Democratic Majority Fund and as Executive Director for the Colorado Democratic Party. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver, College of Law and a BA in Psychology from the University of Colorado. Faye currently serves as Secretary of the International Association of Political Consultants.
Michael is an experienced and accomplished communicator, public affairs manager, and creative. A connector of people and ideas, he is proud to stand with and help progressive candidates, organizations, and initiatives navigate the public arena and win at the ballot box in the U.S. and around the world.
His expertise includes message development, media production, and campaign administration. He is keen to pair his skills with his commitment to pressing issues in public discourse – from engaging and activating diverse coalitions to support our national parks and public lands; to serving as the Colorado LGBT Outreach Co-Chair for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign; and designing nationally-recognized creative highlighting climate change, environmental protection, and veteran voices.
In addition to his work at RBI, Michael has experience with various nonprofits and public officials, namely Accelerating Market Driven Partnerships (AMP) in Washington, D.C., State Senator Wendy Davis of Texas, the Don Quick for Colorado Attorney General campaign, and the Polis for Colorado gubernatorial campaign.
Michael holds a M.A. in international and intercultural communication from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and the School of Media, Film and Journalism Studies at the University of Denver. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in political science and strategic communication from Texas Christian University.
Research Associate & Conference Coordinator
With extensive international experience and a longstanding interest in human rights, Ariane was drawn to RBI Strategies in the desire to further progressive causes both in the US and abroad. Since joining the firm in 2016, she has worked on research, data analysis, and messaging for various campaigns, as well as assisting in planning the International Association of Political Consultants’ 2016 Annual Conference in Denver and 2017 Annual Conference in Reykjavik.
Senior Associate, Europe
Denise is an experienced communications professional, political strategist, and behavioural science researcher with experience in American and British public policy and politics. Denise has been helping political candidates, governmental entities, political organisations, and businesses communicate complex messages to both large general and small targeted audiences since 2009. Working primarily for Democrats in congressional swing districts, Denise’s experience ranges from overseeing communications and press relations to designing field strategy and digital programs.
Denise holds a B.A. the University of Notre Dame, and she recently augmented her understanding of communication by earning a masters degree in the psychological and behavioural science of political communication from the London School of Economics. By returning to graduate school in social psychology and behavioural science, Denise gained analytical and tactical insight to questions of human behaviour and cognition. Since finishing this degree in 2016, she has applied these quantitative and qualitative skills to her clients’ research needs in the US and UK.