Colin Foard


Colin Foard is a manager with Pew’s fiscal federalism initiative, leading the project’s research into state and federal spending on natural disasters and other topics. He also engages stakeholders to improve understanding of the federal-state fiscal relationship and ensure that policymakers have data and evidence to inform their decision-making.

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Rebecca Thiess


Rebecca Thiess is an associate manager on Pew’s fiscal federalism initiative. She oversees and conducts original analyses of the federal and state fiscal relationship, with a focus on higher education. Before joining Pew, Thiess worked as a policy analyst at nonprofit and advocacy organizations, including the Economic Policy Institute and Americans for Financial Reform. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Occidental College and earned a master’s in public policy at Duke University.

Brakeyshia Samms

Senior Associate

Brakeyshia Samms researches tax policies and public programs at the intersection of the federal-state fiscal relationship. Previously, she was a state policy fellow with the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) in Austin, Texas, through the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ postgraduate fellowship program. At CPPP, she conducted research on Texas’ budget and tax policy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from the University of Texas at Tyler and a master’s in public policy from George Mason University. She is pursuing a master’s in applied economics at George Washington University.