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


Podcast: A Conversation with Congress’s Top 2023 Champion for Children – Representative Suzanne Bonamici

| February 14, 2024 |

In this episode, our hosts Bruce Lesley and Messellech “Selley” Looby chat with Representative Suzanne Bonamici. Rep. Bonamici, who has represented Oregon’s 1st district


New podcast puts children at the center of public policy

| October 11, 2023 |

“Speaking of Kids…” to offer insight, advocacy opportunities First Focus on Children has launched “Speaking of Kids…,” a podcast series that explores the way government leaders


Shutdown 2023: What kids will lose

| September 29, 2023 |

As Congress careens toward a government shutdown that would begin just after midnight on Saturday, we’re thinking about what it means for kids. Here’s what


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