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


2019 Children’s Budget shows spending on debt outstrips spending on kids for first time

| September 10, 2019 |

CONTACT: Michele Kayal, MicheleK@firstfocus.org, 703-919-8778. WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 — The 2019 Children’s Budget book, released today by the bipartisan advocacy group First Focus on


First Focus on Children calls for urgent action to address rise in uninsured children

| September 10, 2019 |

Contact: Michele Kayal, MicheleK@firstfocus.org, text/call: 703-919-8778 The U.S. Census Bureau today released 2018 data that show the number of children without health insurance in America


Alarming 2018 Census data spurs new call for national poverty targets

| September 10, 2019 |

CONTACT: Michele Kayal, MicheleK@firstfocus.org, call/text: 703-919-8778 WASHINGTON — Data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau illustrates the failure of our government to lead


Statement: Final Rule on Children in U.S. Custody Means More Kids in Cages for Indefinite Periods of Time

| August 28, 2019 |

The Trump administration published a final rule on August 23, 2019 to gut national standards for the detention, release and treatment of immigrant children


Press Conference: The Threat of the Public Charge Rule to America’s Children

| August 16, 2019 |

The Trump Administration’s public charge rule, published August 14, 2019, targets family-based immigration and specifically singles out children. First Focus on Children hosted a


Press Release: First Focus on Children calls public charge rule “morally reprehensible, economically foolish”

| August 12, 2019 |

Urges Congress to block funding The Trump Administration’s new public charge rule, finalized today despite historic public opposition, imposes sweeping changes on long-standing, bipartisan


Proposed Changes to SNAP will Overwhelmingly Harm Children

| July 23, 2019 |

Today, the Trump Administration has proposed yet another rule that will make it harder for families with children to put food on the table.


Statement on Trump Administration’s Plan for Mass Immigration Arrests

| July 12, 2019 |

WASHINGTON — The Trump Administration reportedly plans to launch massive immigration raids over the weekend that specifically target children and families in major cities


Press Release: SCOTUS decision on Census preserves the health, welfare and rights of millions of children

| June 27, 2019 |

But Commerce Department must finalize forms on time to limit extent of undercount  WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s decision to at least temporarily block


#ChildrensWeek2019 Podlet: An Interview with Helen Blank

| June 13, 2019 |

This year to highlight issues in advocacy for early education, our Averi Pakulis and Karen Howard sat down with Helen Blank, who has been