Meet The Team

Our team of professionals, led by Ryan & Caitlin Berni,
are setting the standard for strategic advisors in political and public affairs.

Photo Credit: Zack Smith Photography

Photo Credit: Zack Smith Photography

Ryan Berni

Ryan Berni is a communications and public affairs professional whose clients include leading corporations, philanthropic and advocacy organizations. He most recently served as the Deputy Mayor of External Affairs to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, where he oversaw communications, intergovernmental affairs, neighborhood engagement, and policy development for the City of New Orleans.

Previously, Berni was Chief of Staff for political strategist James Carville, where he directed Carville’s media, research, writing, and new business development operations. Berni also served as an analyst and consultant to international political clients in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America where his roles included message & media training, speech writing, survey development, and opposition research training.

Berni has also served as campaign manager for several municipal and statewide campaigns.  He has been recognized as one of the top 5 Democratic operatives and influencers in Louisiana by Campaigns & Elections magazine. Ryan is a graduate of Louisiana State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in political science.

Photo Credit: Zack Smith Photography

Photo Credit: Zack Smith Photography

Caitlin Berni

Caitlin Berni leads public affairs campaigns for corporate, nonprofit, and advocacy clients both in and out of New Orleans. She brings a deep understanding of the intersection of policy, politics, and press to her clients.

She specializes in federal government affairs, earned media placement, and coalition building. Before joining Berni Consulting, Caitlin served as the Senior Vice President of Policy and Communications at Greater New Orleans, Inc., the regional economic development organization for Southeast Louisiana. At GNO, Inc., Caitlin launched and ran the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance, a national organization committed to flood insurance affordability and sustainability. 

Before GNO, Inc., Caitlin worked on Capitol Hill for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and the House Ways and Means Committee. Caitlin is a graduate of Louisiana State University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in political science. She is also a graduate of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute and Tulane’s Early Childhood Policy Leadership Institute.


Our Staff

Photo Credit: Zack Smith Photography

Photo Credit: Zack Smith Photography

craig belden

Craig Belden is a Vice President at Berni Consulting where he provides strategic communications and project management expertise for local and national advocacy and non-profit organizations. Most recently, Belden served as the Press Secretary to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, where he managed all press and communication operations including strategic communications, media relations and social media.

Previously, Craig served as a Campaign Manager for Congressional and State House candidates across the country. In these roles he was responsible for all finance, field, and press operations including message and media training, polling, and the development of all paid media production, distribution and broadcast.

Belden is a California native and lifelong Sacramento Kings fan. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Master’s Degree in International Trade Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (formerly the Monterey Institute of International Studies).


Aaren Gordon is an Associate with Berni Consulting, where she provides research, writing and project management support for a number the firm’s public affairs clients. Before joining the Berni Consulting team, she served as Press Manager for former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, after starting in the position of Press Assistant in Mayor Landrieu’s Office. As Press Manager, Aaren developed and executed public relations messaging for internal and external stakeholders, reporters and editors, and citizens and tourists of New Orleans. In the Mayor’s office, Aaren distinguished herself as a hard and reliable worker who produces strong content under pressure. Aaren has devised and executed strategic crisis communications for a variety of natural disasters and large-scale special events, including hurricanes and three Mardi Gras seasons. 
Aaren is a native New Orleanian and has lived in New Orleans for most of her life, earning her Bachelor's in Mass Communications from Loyola University New Orleans. As such, she is passionate about and dedicated to using her experience to make the city better for generations of New Orleanians to come.