An Agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia
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VEOC Activation Status: Green, Steady State

Governor Appoints Sean Polster as New Chief Deputy State Coordinator of Emergency Management

This update was published by Communications
Published: April 10, 2023

RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) is pleased to announce that Governor Glenn Youngkin has appointed Sean Polster as Chief Deputy State Coordinator of Emergency Management for VDEM. Mr. Polster is an emergency management professional with over 30 years of operational readiness and crisis response for both career and volunteer organizations. He most recently served as emergency services/management coordinator for Rappahannock County.

“We are happy to welcome Sean to our team and look forward to leveraging his experiences in both federal and local government,” said Shawn Talmadge, VDEM State Coordinator. “I want to thank him for taking on this role and for his continuing dedication to serving the commonwealth of Virginia.”

Sean is a leading subject matter expert in the field of emergency management with a diverse and tested background. After retiring from the Department of Homeland Security, Sean served as an emergency management consultant with projects ranging from COVID Operations with the Baltimore City Health Department to his work with “Operation Allies Welcome” with the Department of State and US Corps of Engineers.

Sean has served as the subject matter expert for state, university, and federal agencies through the complete design, execution, and administration of emergency management-specific training. Mr. Polster is a sought-after instructor with diverse groups of stakeholders ranging from first-line supervisors to members of the United States Congress to garner collaboration amongst all levels of government while moving to accomplish the goals of the organization.

Sean is also proud to have had the opportunity to have served two terms as an at-large council member and vice mayor in the Town of Warrenton, advocating for his community and the commonwealth. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Bluefield College, Master of Science in Organizational Leadership with a minor in Disaster Management from Grand Canyon University, and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program. He is a devoted husband and proud father to his three children and resides in Warrenton, Virginia where he continues to find ways to help and promote his community through service.

Sean succeeds Erin Sutton who departed VDEM in December 2022.


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