Navigating the Federal Budget: Everything Senior Staff Should Know


How to Effectively Run a Congressional Office
  • Bill Zito, former Chief of Staff, Representative Pete Olson (R-TX) and Representative Kay Granger (R-TX); current Deputy Chief of Staff, Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Jamie Robinette, Chief of Staff, Representative Ross Spano (R-FL)
  • John Lawrence, former Chief of Staff, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • Lara M. Brown, Director & Associate Professor, Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM), The George Washington University
  • Rochelle Dornatt, former Chief of Staff, Representative Sam Farr (D-CA)
  • Ryan Walker, former Chief of Staff, Representative Bob Latta (R-OH)
  • Todd Webster, former Chief of Staff, Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
Perspective from a Fiscal Leader
  • Hon. Tim Penny, Co-Chair, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
Understanding the Current Fiscal and Economic Outlook
  • Marc Goldwein, Senior Vice President and Senior Policy Director, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
The Federal Budget: Composition, Process, and Practical Applications
  • Austin Smythe, former Policy Director, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI)
  • Bill Dauster, former Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
  • Sarah Abernathy, former Senior Policy Coordinator, House Budget Committee; current Deputy Executive Director, Committee for Education Funding
Budgetary Challenges and Opportunities Facing the 116th Congress
  • Maya MacGuineas, President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
Making the Most of Congressional Resources
  • Mark Hadley, Deputy Director, Congressional Budget Office
  • Orice Williams Brown, Managing Director, Office of Congressional Relations, Government Accountability Office
  • T.J. Halstead, Deputy Director, Congressional Research Service
  • Tom Barthold, Chief of Staff, Joint Committee on Taxation
Closing Remarks
  • Hon. Lynn Jenkins, GSPM Fellow, former U.S. Representative (R-KS)


    Spring is budget season in Washington and issues such as appropriations, the debt ceiling, and budget resolutions will soon be unavoidable.

    To help ensure your office is prepared, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, The George Washington University School of Political Management, the Former Members of Congress Association, and the House Chiefs of Staff Alumni Association are hosting a seminar on federal budget issues and more effectively managing your office. Former Members and senior Hill staff, top budget experts, and high-level Congressional agency staff will share knowledge and provide advice.

    This event will be an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with colleagues in new offices and on the committees of jurisdiction, as well as former Members and experts and practitioners in the field.  Lunch will be served. Seating is limited, so register now!


    March 28, 2019 – Lunch and event 12:30 pm – 4:00 pm, Reception 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

    Phoenix Park Hotel – 520 N. Capitol St. NW, Washington, DC 20001

    Click here to RSVP

    We will update this page with event details moving forward. If you have any questions, please reach out to Adam Shifriss ( or Kurt Couchman (