Marcia Howard
Executive Director and Executive Editor


Marcia Howard

State Tax Policy • State Budget Trends • Fiscal Condition • Intergovernmental Finance •
State Policy Reports (SPR)

Marcia Howard has served as the executive director of FFIS since 1998. Before she was the big boss here, she worked for a variety of Washington, DC-based nonprofits, as well as the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations prior to its untimely demise. She also had a really good one-year gig in Grenada but she was too young to fully appreciate it. Howard holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati. Born and raised in Toledo, she remains a diehard Mudhens fan. She enjoys traveling to state capitols and helping state budget analysts translate federal “budgetspeak” into English.

Trinity Tomsic
Deputy Executive Director

Trinity Tomsic pix

Medicaid and Medicare • Other Health Issues • CHIP • Federal Budget Process •
Human Services • TANF

Trinity Tomsic is deputy executive director of FFIS. Before that, Tomsic was a pretty big cheese in the Grants Management Division for Maryland’s Department of Human Resources where she was charged with managing more than $1 billion in federal health and human service funds. Tomsic also analyzed state budget and federal funding issues for the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Association of State Budget Officers. She is the greenest person in the office, no, in the building, maybe in the city. She’s a vegan, recycles, turns out the lights, and grows her own vegetables. She loves dogs and they seem to love her back. A Utah native, Tomsic holds a master’s degree in economics and a bachelor’s from the American University in Washington, DC.

Matthew Reese
Budget and Policy Analyst


Matthew Reese pix

Agriculture • Food and Nutrition Housing and Community Development • Labor • Natural Resources  Transportation   General Government

Matthew Reese is FFIS’s newest budget and policy analyst. He’s so new, he still wears a tie to the office. That won’t last much longer. Before joining FFIS, Reese worked as a Legislative Fellow on Capitol Hill, as a numbers cruncher at the Social Security Administration, and as a nonprofit manager during his Americorps service. He holds a Master's degree in policy economics from DePaul University, and a Bachelor’s in history from Ohio University. Depending on his mood, Reese may claim to hail from any of six different states, all of them in the midwest, south, southwest, mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes region, or northeast. He has a wife and a lizard. (Good thing he listed the wife first.)

Carol Ryder
Managing Editor

Carol Ryder

General Inquiries • Billing Information • Webmaster • Passwords

Carol Ryder, editor and house mother at FFIS, has been in the publishing/marketing/advertising field for a long time. How long? None of your business. She’s been an editor, account executive, lackey, newsletter writer, production manager, and PTA president. She is very happy to have landed at FFIS more than a dozen years ago, and has no plans to go anywhere else. With luck, her boss feels the same way. A New York City native, Ryder got her degree in journalism at Ohio University, cum laude, no less. She lives in DC and has one son, one dog, and one husband.

Curtis Smith
Research Intern

Education • Criminal Justice  Homeland Security • Enviornment • Energy

Curtis Smith, a Los Angeles native, is in graduate school at George Washington University. He wants to be a city manager when he grows up. Like Matthew, he wears ties because, he says, "You never know who you're going to run into in D.C." He also says the traffic in D.C. is worse than L.A. Before settling on public policy, Curtis did other stuff: machine operator at a steel factory, overnight freight crew at Home Depot, behavior therapist, and radio DJ. In his spare time, Curtis enjoys watching boxing matches, solving Rubik’s cubes, and listening to vinyl records.

Andrew Olson
FFIS Intern

Andrew Olson

Competitive Grants Update • Grants Database

Andrew Olson is a recent college graduate who compiles the Competitive Grant Update every week. He's been doing this since he was in high school, and has been trying to quit for years, but we won't let him because he's very good at it. That said, one of these days he is going to find a full-time job helping to save the environment, and we will be out of luck.


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