Michele Kayal Vice President, Media and Communications

Michele Kayal is an award-winning journalist who has covered everything from post-Communist Europe to country music cookbooks for the New York Times, Associated Press, NPR and other national outlets. As a “recovering reporter” she now deploys her media and communications skills on behalf of the children served by First Focus and First Focus Campaign for Children.

Before joining First Focus, Michele spent three years leading communications for Relief International, a $100 million humanitarian organization providing refugee assistance in 16 countries. For more on Michele’s background, please visit her LinkedIn profile.   

Resources by Michele Kayal

Children’s Budget 2023: Funding negotiations endanger children’s health, education, and well-being

| September 21, 2023 |

New report from First Focus on Children tracks decline in share of federal spending on kids A new report from First Focus on Children

Child poverty more than doubled in 2022, Census says

| September 12, 2023 |

Child poverty came roaring back in 2022, according to U.S. government figures released today, more than doubling to over 12% and erasing the last bits

Children are only group to lose health insurance, Census numbers show

| September 12, 2023 |

Rates to rise further as Medicaid “unwinding” continues The number of children without health insurance rose in 2022, according to government figures released today,

New research shows baby and toddler programs need greater funding

| August 24, 2023 |

“Babies in the Budget” outlines federal investment in the nation’s youngest children WASHINGTON, August 23, 2023 — New research released today shows that the federal government

Four ways the debt ceiling bill hurts kids

| June 1, 2023 |

Last night the House passed a debt ceiling bill that will stave off disaster for the country as a whole, but will hurt millions

Statement: Budget deal “short-sighted, unfair and fiscally irresponsible,” children’s advocate says

| May 31, 2023 |

Deal undercuts an already shrinking share of spending on kids First Focus on Children President Bruce Lesley released the following statement in response to the

Statement: Title 42 ends, but children still in danger

| May 11, 2023 |

Asylum ban, deterrence policies will punish children WASHINGTON, May 11, 2023 —Today marks the end of the Title 42 policy, put in place by the

Statement: Children deserve access to quality, affordable health care coverage

| April 14, 2023 |

In response to President Biden’s expansion of access to health care coverage to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, First Focus on

6 ways budget cuts could impact kids

| April 14, 2023 |

As House leadership wrangles with itself over the contours of a budget proposal, one thing is clear: Cuts are coming. Members have floated proposals that would return spending

Work requirements work against children

| April 6, 2023 |

Work requirements snagged the spotlight on Capitol Hill this week as lawmakers began floating ideas for strengthening them as a condition of food, medical and