About Magellan Strategies

Our Company's Mission

The mission of Magellan Strategies is to provide government, school district, special district, and public policy organizations with the best public opinion survey experience possible. Thank you for taking the time to learn about our team and company. 

Image of Magellan Strategies CEO David Flaherty.

David Flaherty

CEO & Founder​

David Flaherty founded Magellan Strategies, a public opinion survey research firm serving local governments, school districts, special districts, and public policy organizations since 2007. He has spent three decades designing and managing thousands of ballot measure surveys, community surveys, and public policy research projects accurately measuring public and voter opinion. Furthermore, David is an expert public opinion pollster, focus group moderator, and ballot measure consultant.  

David learned the art and science of public opinion research working in Washington, DC, for fourteen years, from 1992 to 2006. He mastered questionnaire design, qualitative research, and message development strategies and practices during that time. Furthermore, he held positions of responsibility working at the Republican National Committee, the U.S. House of Representative Oversight Committee, and Americans for Prosperity.

David is very proud to have helped hundreds of Colorado governments, school districts, special districts, and policy groups achieve voter approval for various ballot measures funding a wide array of government services, capital projects, and district operations.   

David is a native of Wellesley, Massachusetts, and a 1991 graduate of the University of Delaware. He lives in Broomfield, Colorado, with his wife, Jennifer, and their two sons, Jack and Bobby.

Courtney Sievers, MPA

Director of Survey Research

Courtney Sievers is our Director of Survey Research and has been with Magellan since 2009. She is our most experienced survey project manager and has completed hundreds of public policy, ballot measure, and community survey projects. Courtney is a master at developing questions that accurately measure resident and voter opinion for complicated ballot measure surveys and legislative policy proposal projects.

Suppose your organization intends to ask voters to approve a ballot measure to fund services, employee salaries, or capital projects. In that case, Courtney is someone that you want to manage your survey project. She is an expert in surveys focusing on message testing, development, and voter sentiment analysis. Her guidance will help your organization talk about your needs and the costs associated with them in a manner that will build voter support.

Courtney is an expert in using the statistical software packages of SPSS, Uncle, and R. She also manages many of our focus group and qualitative research projects. She is an experienced focus group moderator and knows how to develop an effective discussion guide. Furthermore, Courtney is an expert in technical writing and sentiment analysis.

Courtney holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics from Colorado Mesa University and a Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of Colorado Denver. She and her husband, Jake, live in Arvada with their two-year-old daughter Riley. In her spare time, she loves to ski and watch soccer.

Ryan Winger

Polling Project Manager and Director of Campaign Strategy

Ryan Winger is one of our lead polling project managers and the Director of Campaign Strategy. He has been on our team since 2007. During that time, he has managed hundreds of ballot measure surveys for local governments, school districts, special districts, and public policy organizations. 

In addition to being an accomplished polling project manager, Ryan has managed over 100 ballot measure campaigns. In particular, he has deep experience managing bond measures and MLO campaigns for Colorado school districts. He is most proud of his work for 27J Schools in 2022, helping guide the “I Am 27J” campaign to a successful mill levy override after over 20 years of failed efforts. Furthermore, Ryan is an expert at voter data analysis and utilizing survey data to develop winning campaign strategies that deliver the right message to the right voters.

Ryan is a graduate of the University of Colorado with a degree in Political Science.  He resides in Frederick with his wife, Vicki, and their three children, Emmalyn, Easton, and Everly.

Katie Witt, MPA

Polling Project Manger

With over 13 years of experience in public policy, local government, and community development, Katie Witt is a passionate problem solver and community champion. Her mission has always been to unite people and organizations, forging powerful connections to achieve shared goals and create lasting change.

Katie’s career in public policy and local government led her to become the Mayor of Kaysville City, Utah. In that role, she served as a bridge between her community and the larger world of government. She led a dedicated team and provided guidance and support to help them shine. Together, they tackled ambitious projects, from bringing high-speed internet options to the entire city to remodeling city hall to accommodate the growing needs of the community. And when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she spearheaded their response, ensuring the safety and well-being of residents and businesses.

Before living in Kaysville City, she proudly served as a City Council Member in Longmont, Colorado. There, she was involved in various special projects and even took on leadership roles at the regional and national levels. These experiences allowed her to cultivate her skills and passion for public service.

Katie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Utah. In addition, she is a constant learner and has pursued professional development in grant writing, public participation, an outward mindset, and career development. 

Katie lives in Kaysville City, Utah, with her husband. 

Jennifer Flaherty

Principal & Director of Redistricting Services

Jennifer Flaherty is a principal and co-founder of Magellan Strategies. She is considered to be one of the most experienced redistricting and political data consultants in the Republican community as a veteran of the 2001, 2011 and coming up 2021 redistricting cycles. Jennifer’s career began in the fall of 2000 working in the Republican National Committee Redistricting Department.

In this role she mastered redistricting mapping software and building complex political databases containing voter files, precinct election return data and census data. Jennifer has worked with countless Republican legislative caucuses and state parties across the country, supporting their mapping and redistricting needs.

Jennifer is a native of Houston and is a graduate of the University of Texas. She and David Flaherty are the proud parents of two boys, Jack and Bobby. They reside in Broomfield and enjoy skiing, hiking, fly fishing and mountain biking when the grandparents are in town and watching the kids.