Director of External Affairs
Dawn Eischen was named the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s (VDEM) external affairs director in January 2014. She serves as the agency’s spokesperson and manages media relations, emergency preparedness education and social media initiatives. During emergencies, she is the commonwealth’s chief external affairs officer responsible for coordinating state agency public information activities through the Joint Information Center at the Virginia Emergency Operations Center.
Prior to joining VDEM, from 2005-2013, Eischen was the communication manager for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Richmond District. Before joining VDOT, she was VDEM’s public affairs coordinator. Other positions she has held include public relations manager for the Atlanta Humane Society and public affairs specialist with the American Red Cross in Fort Worth, Texas. Eischen has deployed to several disasters during her career as a public affairs representative of the commonwealth and the Red Cross to include hurricanes Sandy, Ike and Katrina. In 2013, she received the Governor’s Award for community service and volunteerism. She has also received a number of awards for leading exceptional public outreach campaigns from the Public Relations Society of America in Richmond and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Eischen received a Bachelor of Science degree in speech communications from Radford University and a Master of Science degree in community leadership from Duquesne University in Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Commonwealth Management Institute.