Michelle's BioMichelle Mrdeza joined Cornerstone in 2007 after 23 years in public service on Capitol Hill and the Executive Branch, including her final four years as majority staff director of the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Homeland Security. At Cornerstone, Michelle leads the firm’s homeland security practice group. In that capacity, Michelle represents a broad and diverse set of clients.
Michelle aids her clients in identifying key funding opportunities within the Department of Homeland Security, and introduces them to decision makers, putting clients in an advantageous position to successfully bid on multi-year contracts. Beyond her work at Cornerstone, she also serves as a subject matter expert on homeland security and appropriations issues for Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute; The Brookings Institution; the Homeland Security and Defense Business Council; the MITRE Corporation; the Government Technology and Services Coalition; and Women in Homeland Security.
Prior to her position on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Michelle served as the majority staff director of the House Treasury, Postal Service, & General Government Appropriations Subcommittee from 1995-2003—becoming one of the first women to serve as an appropriations subcommittee staff director. From 1992-1995, Michelle was a staff assistant with the House Committee on Appropriations on both the Energy & Water and Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government Committees. Michelle began working on Capitol Hill in 1985 as a senior analyst with the Senate Budget Committee, where she focused on education, job training, social services, and Veterans’ benefits.
Before working for Congress, Michelle served as a program analyst with the Veterans Administration where she provided analytical support on medical care, with an emphasis on Agent Orange and medical research. She began her government service career as a Presidential Management Intern (PMI) and program analyst with the Office of Management and Budget.
Michelle received a Masters of Public Administration from George Washington University, a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Virginia, and was a senior research fellow at the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research. She was named to the Phi Alpha Alpha Honor Society and was the recipient of the 1998 George Washington University Department of Public Administration Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2006, Michelle received the US Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award.