Ed Walz (Former Staff) Vice President

Ed Walz leads a communications team responsible for First Focus’ media relations, social media outreach, and other public communications. Ed and his team also work with the organization’s policy staff to develop First Focus’ issue briefs, reports, and other materials, and to integrate communications with the organization’s advocacy strategy. And they coordinate with the First Focus policy team to support the advocacy efforts of First Focus’ state partners.

Ed has been quoted in the Washington Post and on CBS Radio News, among other national and regional news outlets. His work has generated news coverage in The New York Times, USA Today, the Associated Press, McClatchy News, POLITICO, The Hill, Roll Call, Congressional Quarterly, and a range of regional and trade news outlets all over the country.

Before joining the First Focus team in November, 2011, Ed worked as a Vice President at Spitfire Strategies, a national consulting firm offering communications and strategy counsel and support to nonprofits and philanthropies. At Spitfire, Ed led a messaging project that helped state-based advocates from coast to coast strengthen children’s health coverage policy and covered more than 1.3 million uninsured kids. He regularly presented on topics ranging from advocacy communications and message development to communications planning and effective writing. He also led a research effort that informed the development of Spitfire’s Just Enough Planning Guide.

For fifteen years, Ed worked for the U.S. House of Representatives, serving three senior lawmakers, leaving the Hill as Legislative Director for then-Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH-13). As a policy staffer, Ed drafted and successfully advanced federal legislation on issues ranging from food safety to family tax policy. He also coordinated with business and human services advocates to secure Federal Communications Commission designation of the telephone dialing prefix 2-1-1 for social services referrals. And he worked with a bipartisan, bicameral team of legislators and staff to win House floor passage of legislation authorizing the importation of safe, affordable, effective medicine from Canada and other allied nations. Ed also worked as a constituent liaison in a congressional district office, leading the planning and execution of large-scale public events that drew significant media attention.

Ed has served as a guest lecturer on topics ranging from message development and communications strategy to effective advocacy. He has taught sessions for undergraduate and graduate programs at the George Washington University School of Public Health, American University's Center for Congressional & Presidential Studies, and the George Mason University Department of Communications.

Ed was raised in southeastern Wisconsin, where his family owned a small restaurant business. He started a small philanthropy in partnership with a Wisconsin community foundation, and he has been an active volunteer in the Washington, D.C., area.

Resources by Ed Walz

Budget Caps Cut Children’s Initiatives’ Funding, Urban Institute Reports

| September 29, 2015 |

Washington – An analysis released today by the nonpartisan Urban Institute finds that discretionary budget caps resulting from the 2013 congressional budget sequestration have

Children’s Advocates Applaud McConnell Budget Comments

| September 16, 2015 |

Washington – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) today told reporters that he expects year-end fiscal legislation to lift congressional budget caps that have

Children’s Advocates Blast Trump Child Deportation Plan

| August 19, 2015 |

Washington – This week, presidential candidate Donald Trump outlined an immigration policy that would amend the United States Constitution to repeal the 14th Amendment’s

Raise Budget Caps on Children’s Initiatives, Advocates Urge

| August 18, 2015 |

Washington – More than a dozen leading advocates for children and families today urged congressional leadership to craft a year-end fiscal package that increases

By the Numbers: Kids in the GOP Presidential Debate

| August 14, 2015 |

Last week’s Republican presidential primary debate covered a lot of ground. I wondered how mentions of children compared with other issues. Here’s what I

By the Numbers: Kids and News Coverage of Medicaid’s 50th

| July 30, 2015 |

Today is Medicaid’s (and Medicare’s) 50th anniversary, and because it provides quality, affordable coverage for nearly 32 million children and is the largest single

House Democrats’ summer communications project and what children’s advocates can learn from it

| July 29, 2015 |

From a communication perspective, Congressional Democrats did two really good things this week: [1] they admitted there was room for improvement in their communication

Investigate Abuses of Children’s Constitutional Rights, Advocates Urge

| July 20, 2015 |

Washington – The bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus today sent a letter to United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch, urging her to launch

Congress cutting kids’ spending twice as fast as overall spending, report finds

| June 24, 2015 |

Washington – Children’s Budget 2015, an analysis released today by the bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus, finds that funding for federal initiatives serving

Advocates Applaud Calls for End to Family Detention

| May 21, 2015 |

Washington – Today, congressional representatives held a press conference urging the Obama Administration to end the practice of detaining children and their mothers, many