Data Analyst and Operations Coordinator
Competitive Grant Update • Passwords • Billing • Mailing List • General Inquiries • JusticeEthan Ableman is FFIS’s Data Analyst and Operations Coordinator, which means their job description encompasses anything the boss says it does. Luckily, they’re multi-talented and a good sport, who comes to FFIS after an internship at NPR and a couple of research gigs in Oberlin, Ohio (where they attended college). At Oberlin, Ethan called contra dances, cooked a weekly meal for 35 people, and occasionally studied statistics for their psychology major. Ethan also is pursuing certification as a licensed massage therapist. In short, they’re a 21st century renaissance polymath. Oh, and they love spreadsheets. Ethan hails from the DC area.
Senior Budget and Policy Analyst
Labor • Nutrition
Ken Forsberg is a Senior Policy Analyst with FFIS. We knew that Ken would be a good fit when he referenced Hill experience, years spent tracking, analyzing, and reporting on federal appropriations and the budget process, and enjoyment of numbers. Especially the latter. In fact, he confessed that in previous jobs he had to guard against spending too much time refining his congressional database spreadsheet instead of going to the Hill and actually talking to people. A Wisconsin native, Ken misses (real) winter. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell and a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In between those two stints in school, he was a Peace Corps math teacher in Ghana, where the mangos, ground-nut soup, and hospitality made up for the lack of winter.
Executive Director and Executive Editor
State Budget Trends • Fiscal Condition • Intergovernmental Finance • Education • Housing • 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 thinks the Mudhens have the greatest sports mascot ever. She enjoys traveling to state capitols and helping state budget analysts translate federal “budgetspeak” into English.
Budget and Policy Analyst
Agriculture • Energy • Environment • Disaster Assistance • General Government • Homeland Security • Interior • Natural Resources • Transportation
Andrew Olson is our infrastructure guru. He tracks most of the federal agencies that received a big infusion of cash as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), and spends most of his time keeping track of all that money and what it means to states. His obsession with making sure all the numbers add up and reconcile make this more than a full-time job. He also contributes to State Policy Reports. As a codger inhabiting a young person's body, Andrew bemoans the high cost and incivility of urban life and spends his free time searching for remote cabins in the mountains and hiking with his wife and their two dogs. He has a bachelor's degree in environmental studies from Keene State College in New Hampshire.
Deputy Executive Director
Medicaid • CHIP • Public Health • Human Services • Federal Budget Process • Grants Management
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 recycles, turns out the lights, grows her own vegetables, and spends most of her free time working on an educational farm. She loves dogs and chickens and they seem to love her back, though we’re not sure the dogs and chickens love each other. A Utah native, Tomsic holds a master’s degree in economics and a bachelor’s from the American University in Washington, DC.