PPBE Reform Commission

Commission Staff

Lara Sayer

Executive Director

Ms. Lara Sayer is the Executive Director for the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) Reform.  Prior to joining the Commission, Ms. Sayer served as a part of the Senior Executive Service as the Comptroller for Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) and Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC), where she had oversight of annual appropriations in excess of $12B. Ms. Sayer also served as the Comptroller for the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Deputy Chief Financial Officer for United States Special Operations Command. Ms. Sayer has also served in several senior positions in the acquisition, budget, and resource management sectors throughout her career. Ms. Sayer holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Master of Business Administration from Wright State University.  She also has a Masters in National Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School at the National Defense University.

Annie Crum

Director of Operations

Ms. Annie Crum is the Director of Operations for the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) Reform currently serving part-time. Ms. Crum also serves as the Comptroller Liaison for the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Prior to this position, Ms. Crum served the Coordination Branch at the United State Marine Corps Headquarters Program and Resources Department, where she worked her way through the ranks and ultimately was the Head of the Branch. Ms. Crum holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and graduated Cum Laude from Southern Methodist University.

Elizabeth Bieri

Director of Research

Ms. Elizabeth Bieri is the Director of Research for the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) Reform. Ms. Bieri has spent her career in financial management, logistics, and as a cost and price analyst in the national defense space. Prior to this position, she was the Deputy Director for Budget in the  Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, Secretariat for Special Operations. Ms. Bieri holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the College of Naval Warfare at the Navy War College and a Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College.

Rachel Conway

Director of Outreach

Ms. Rachel Conway is the Director of Outreach for the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Reform. Prior to this position, Ms. Conway was the Chief of Communications and Strategic Planning in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. Ms. Conway holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Politics and a Master of Public Policy from George Mason University.

Kelle McCluskey

Senior Researcher

Ms. Kelle McCluskey currently serves as Senior Researcher for the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Reform. Prior to this position, Ms. McCluskey was the Division Chief of the Advanced Intelligence Capabilities Division in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition, Technology & Logistics), Special Programs. Ms. McCluskey also served as a Budget Analyst Team Lead in the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management and Comptroller), Budget Investment Directorate (SAF/FMBIB). Prior to entering civil service, Ms. McCluskey worked in industry supporting budget and acquisition across the federal government. Ms. McCluskey holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Salem State and Master of Science in Management, focused on Federal Acquisition and Contract Management, from the Catholic University of America.

Caroline Bledsoe

Senior Researcher

Ms. Caroline Bledsoe currently serves as Senior Researcher for the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Reform. Prior to this position, Ms. Bledsoe served as the Growth Lead for a venture-backed AI startup. Prior to that, Ms. Bledsoe served in several positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, to include the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, Office of the DoD Chief Information Officer, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs and the Immediate Office of the Secretary of Defense – White House Liaison. Ms. Bledsoe holds a Bachelor of Science in political science pre-professional legal studies from Appalachian State University.

Soleil Sykes

Senior Researcher

Ms. Soleil Sykes currently serves as Senior Researcher for the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Reform. She previously served as the research assistant for the Senate Armed Services Subcommittees on Cybersecurity and Personnel and staff assistant for the Subcommittee on Personnel. Ms. Sykes holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy with a concentration in French language from Antioch College.

Brooks Minnick

Senior Researcher

Mr. Brooks Minnick currently serves as Senior Researcher for the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Reform. Mr. Minnick is a career acquisition professional who has worked on several major Department of the Air Force acquisition programs, including F-15, KC-46, and F-35. Mr. Minnick has also held positions in Headquarters Air Force Cost and Economics, the Legislation Liaison Office for the Secretary of the Air Force, and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. He holds a graduate certificate in legislation affairs from Georgetown University GAI, a M.S. in national defense resource strategy from the National Defense University Eisenhower School, a M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Wright State University, and a B.A. in finance with a minor in commercial real-estate from Toledo University, along with six professional certifications.

Ben Klay

Senior Researcher

Mr. Ben Klay currently serves as Senior Researcher for the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) Reform, and is also an operations research analyst for the Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Prior to these positions, Mr. Klay worked in defense resourcing at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict from 2019-2021  and at the Office of Management and Budget from 2009-2019. He served in the Marines from 2003-2007, holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Studies from Yale University, and a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University.

Jared Terry

Senior Researcher

Mr. Jared Terry currently serves as a Senior Researcher for the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Reform. Concurrently, Mr. Terry serves as the Chief – Resources, Acquisition, and Support at the U.S. Army Materiel Command G-8. Previously, Mr. Terry served in a range of financial management and audit oversight roles within DoD and the private sector. He holds a M.B.A with a concentration in Accounting from Brenau University and undergraduate degrees in Accounting and Finance from the University of North Georgia.

Andrew Gallotta

Senior Researcher

Mr. Andrew Gallotta serves as a Senior Researcher for the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Reform. Mr. Gallotta is also responsible for providing fiscal and programmatic advice to N95 leadership in support of Navy Expeditionary Warfare requirements. Mr. Gallotta served in the U.S. Navy from 1984-1996, after which he left active duty to serve as a Reservist until his retirement in 2014. Mr. Gallotta holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the U.S. Naval Academy, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Rochester, and a Master of Science in Applied Science from the Naval Postgraduate School. Mr. Gallotta is also a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute’s Leadership in a Democratic Society, Navy Corporate Business Course, MIT’s Seminar XXI program, and NDU’s Reserve Component National Security Course. He has been awarded the Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

Hannah Francis

Senior Consultant

Ms. Hannah Francis currently serves as Senior Consultant for the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE) Reform. Ms. Francis has worked at the Department of Defense in a variety of financial management and program administration positions at different components and echelons. Ms. Francis attained a Doctor of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix School of Advanced Studies, and Executive Master of Business Administration from Troy University.