2024 VOCA Town Hall

Live Town Hall Tuesday, February 20, at 2:00 p.m. ET

Join NCA's government affairs team to learn where things stand with VOCA funding for CACs after a busy winter on Capitol Hill, what needs to happen this year, and how you can play the advocacy role that helps us survive the cuts and thrive.

Teresa Huizar

Executive Director

National Children's Alliance

Teresa Huizar was appointed the Executive Director of National Children’s Alliance, February 26th, 2008.  National Children’s Alliance, headquartered in Washington, DC, is the national association and accrediting body for nearly 900 Children’s Advocacy Centers in the US.  These centers provide comprehensive services to child victims of abuse including:  forensic interviews, victim advocacy, medical evaluations, and mental health treatment. Children’s Advocacy Centers coordinate the multidisciplinary team as it carries out its investigative, prosecutorial, and treatment functions.  In 2018, Children’s Advocacy Centers served over 367,000 child victims of abuse, and provided child abuse prevention education to more than 2 million individuals.

Prior to her tenure with NCA, Ms. Huizar served as the Executive Director of the Western Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, a technical assistance and training center for­­­ two hundred Children’s Advocacy Centers and multidisciplinary teams in twelve Western states.  And, has served as the Executive Director of two local Children’s Advocacy Centers.

Ms. Huizar has a special interest in public policy in the child welfare arena, especially, in reducing child abuse fatalities and in the provision of trauma-focused, evidence-supported mental health treatment to child victims of abuse.  She has testified before Congress on child abuse issues.  And, she has conducted and participated in numerous child abuse-related Congressional briefings.  Ms. Huizar has been interviewed by CNN, WSJ, USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News, NPR, and numerous other media outlets, on child welfare policy matters.

Ms. Huizar has served on numerous related Boards and Committees over the years.  She is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the Steering Committee of the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths.

Denise Edwards

Director of Government Affairs

National Children's Alliance

Denise Edwards is director of government affairs for National Children’s Alliance (NCA), the national association and accrediting body for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC). As director of government affairs, Denise develops, coordinates and leads all federal  and national legislative and public policy strategies for NCA and its members, including strategies to expand the use and awareness of CACs in the public policy arena.  Prior to her tenure with NCA, Denise served as manager of government affairs for Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., representing the company and its more than 16,000 small business franchises before Congress and State/Local governments.

Denise began her Washington career working in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving, among others, as deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Rep. Bud Cramer; and on the legislative staff of Rep. Chet Edwards.  Denise is a graduate of Baylor University, with a master’s in Public Policy Administration and a bachelor’s in Business Administration with a focus on financial planning.


Christian Morgan

Managing Principal

Husch Blackwell Strategies

Known for his strategic vision, aggressive tactics, and political hustle, Christian Morgan brings fifteen years of politics and public policy experience to Husch Blackwell Strategies as Principal.

After guiding the Kansas Republican Party as Executive Director from 2007-2008, Christian joined Axiom Strategies, the largest Republican political consulting firm in the United States. As Vice President of Axiom Strategies, Christian developed a winning focus, guiding his over fifty Congressional campaigns to major victories from Arizona to North Carolina and in between.

In 2013, Christian became Missouri Congresswoman Ann Wagner’s first Chief of Staff and was quickly identified by National Journal as one of five House freshman staffers to watch. For five years Christian directed Congresswoman Wagner’s staff in Washington, DC and in St. Louis, MO with a legislative portfolio focused on the Financial Services Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee, fighting the regulatory burdens of an ever-increasing federal government, and helping Congresswoman Wagner become the voice in Congress fighting the online sex trafficking industry.

In a four-year span, Christian helped Congresswoman Wagner pass a total of ten pieces of legislation through the United States House of Representatives with five bills becoming law. Christian effectively formed and managed a coalition of groups across the political and regulatory spectrum in Missouri and Washington, D.C. to pass the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act in 2015 – the first major piece of anti-sex trafficking legislation in thirteen years.

Christian joined Husch Blackwell Strategies in January 2018 and represents a broad range of HBS clients in broadband, higher education, energy, crime victims and child services, appropriations, water infrastructure and transportation.

Christian has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and second B.A. in Sociology from the University of Kansas and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2004.

Christian and his wife, Catherine, live in the St. Louis area and try to keep up with their six children – Madison, Lauren, Christian, Regan, Jack and Schaefer.


Online Town Hall
02/20/2024 at 2:00 PM (EST)  |  60 minutes
02/20/2024 at 2:00 PM (EST)  |  60 minutes Join NCA's government affairs team to learn where things stand with VOCA funding for CACs after a busy winter on Capitol Hill, what needs to happen this year, and how you can play the advocacy role that helps us survive the cuts and thrive.