An Agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Emergency Support Team (VEST) Status: Monitoring

VEOC Activation Status: Orange

Policy and Communications

Emergency management is all about working together — and that is the focus of the Policy & Communications bureau. This bureau is responsible for internal and external communications, public messaging and warning, cross-bureau/cross-divisional projects, data analytics, strategic and organizational planning, legislative relations and intergovernmental affairs, policy development, project management, master calendar creation and maintenance, ethics, FOIA, legal reviews, risk and compliance, and stakeholder engagement.

The Communications division works to educate the public about emergency preparedness, and spreads awareness of VDEM’s activities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from all hazards. The division heads up comprehensive public outreach programs, preparedness marketing efforts, social media, news releases, the VDEM website, media relations, and outreach to elected officials. Communications staff manage the state’s Joint Information Center and work to ensure that messaging is looked at from a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens to promote accessibility of information for all Virginians and visitors. The division is also responsible for managing the agency’s Partners in Preparedness Program and stakeholder engagement.

Policy and Project Office
The Policy & Project Office (PPO) falls under the Policy & Communications Bureau. The office has two sections: Policy & Process, and Intergovernmental Affairs. Our team assists in defining the roles of various offices within VDEM by developing processes and identifying ways to support all divisions. Our goals are to promote a  transparent culture within VDEM and assist the agency’s varied divisions in achieving mission objectives. This includes productive contributions to the success of project outcomes and the efficient use of resources in the service of the Commonwealth. PPO seeks to establish a guidance framework for projects, providing a structured approach for intra- agency policy, flow processes, and procedures. We engage stakeholders at all levels, fostering VDEM’s mission to centralize equity in all efforts, especially before, during, and after a disaster.


Chief of Staff & Senior Counsel


Director of Communications and Chief Agency Spokesperson


Deputy Director of Communications


Policy & Process Coordinator


Policy & Intergovernmental Affairs Coordinator


Public Relations Specialist