ACRC Member Town Hall: Earmarks 2.0 - The What, When and How of Securing Federal Funding

  • 19 Jan 2023
  • 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
  • Zoom


  • If you need assistance logging in to your member account, please contact Mollie at

Registration is closed

ACRC Members-Only Event

ACRC Member Town Hall
Earmarks 2.0 - The What, When, & How of Securing Federal Funding

Thursday, January 19, 2023          2:00 - 3:30 p.m. CT

**If you are having any issues registering please email Amanda**

After a decade-long moratorium, in 2021 the 117th United States Congress marked the return of earmarks, rebranded “Congressionally Directed Spending” in the Senate and “Community Project Funding” in the House of Representatives. Through this process, members of Congress have directed billions of federal dollars towards specific projects in their home districts and states in just the last two years. Local governments and 501(c)(3) nonprofits are eligible to apply, and the rules for the 118th Congress will be released soon. What key information do you need to know if you are interested in applying for funding? When should you prepare and engage with your member of Congress? How does the process work? Join this ACRC Member Town Hall to hear an overview from Sean Hughes, Managing Partner at Social Change Partners, and participate in Q&A with a panel of leaders who all successfully navigated this new process and secured congressional earmarks to advance their organizations’ missions in FY22 or FY23.


Sean Hughes, Managing Partner - Government Relations, Social Change Partners

Sean Hughes has more than two decades of experience working on a broad range of public policy issues with a particular focus on children, youth, and families. As a Congressional staffer, he helped write and pass the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351), which established the federal extended foster care and subsidized guardianship programs. Following his decade on Capitol Hill, Sean served for several years as Director of Congressional Affairs for the Child Welfare League of America before transitioning to consulting.

Sean possesses significant expertise in county, state, and federal policy and government affairs, including the legislative, budgeting, and regulatory processes as well as the Congressional appropriations process. He has extensive experience developing and executing policy and funding agendas and campaigns, both within government and as an advocate. 

Through his Congressional service and continued federal policy engagement, client work in several states, and ongoing participation in the Aspen Institute Opportunity Youth Forum as well as the American Bar Association Commission on Youth at Risk, Sean maintains a robust network of experts and partners throughout the country. 


Bob Lieberman, CEO, Lieberman Group 

Bob is the former CEO of a multi-service children’s mental health agency, turned consultant with over 44 years of experience - he’s consulted and advised for agencies across the United States. Bob is a Certified Trainer of the Collaborative Problem Solving® (CPS) approach by Think:Kids, a program based in the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also certified by ACE Interface as a Master Trainer in Understanding the NEAR Sciences.  He’s written extensively and is co-editor of “Residential Interventions, for Children, Adolescents, and Families, a Best Practice Guide.” He is highly regarded statewide and nationally for advancing trauma-informed care in policy and practice arenas.

Kuna Tavalin, Partner, Stride Policy Solutions 

Her laser-like focus on the essential elements of public policy can be seen in her legislative accomplishments in appropriations and authorizing laws.

A recent sample of achievements with her clients includes a five-year reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, securing new support for family engagement in the Every Student Succeeds Act, which is now a grant program through the U.S. Department of Education, and an increase in funding for programs that support robust multi-generation education.

Kuna’s portfolio is wide-ranging and includes appropriations, early childhood home visiting, early childhood education and care, special education, family engagement, abuse and neglect prevention, and juvenile justice.

She began her career in the U.S. Senate where she worked for five years covering issues that ranged from early childhood education and poverty to housing, transportation, and judiciary issues.

Kuna displays a quick wit and keen ability to “read the room” that can be seen during her facilitation of work groups, national presentations, and legislative discussions.

As a volunteer, Kuna has been tutoring in literacy for twenty years, and she provides weekly diaper deliveries to families in need in her community. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Literature and Politics from Brandeis University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Smith College.

A proud native of Vermont, she currently resides in Takoma Park, MD with her husband and children. All their free time is spent outside.

Ty Tigner, Executive Director, Presbyterian Hospitality House 


Lisette Burton, J.D., Chief of Policy and Practice, ACRC 

*There is no cost for this Town Hall, however,
registration is required.

If you have trouble registering as an ACRC member,
please email Mollie.