DPS Secretary Announces New Communications Director


Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks today announced a new director of Communications for the department. Jody D. Donaldson will take on the role officially on June 14 as Pamela Walker, the current director, transitions to another role within the department.

“We are excited to welcome Mr. Donaldson to the DPS family,” Secretary Hooks stated. “He brings with him a lot of experience in communications, public information and media relations in both public safety and the private sector. His law enforcement background as well as Red Cross experience will be great assets to the agency in this important role.”

Donaldson will oversee the department’s Communications Office and lead its public affairs, media relations and social media messaging, as well as production of publications. As director, he will ensure the public and stakeholders are aware of the state’s disaster response efforts as part of the State Emergency Response Team. He will also lead the department’s management of public records requests.

A Northern Virginia native, Donaldson has been serving as the regional Communications chief for the National Capital and Greater Chesapeake Region of the American Red Cross. Previously, he was the commander of the Public Affairs Office for the Alexandria Police Department; police officer, public information officer and crisis negotiator at the Fairfax County Police Department; and served as an FBI special agent. He also has held executive level positions in marketing, policy, external relations and training for primarily real estate-related companies.

Donaldson holds a master’s in sports management and marketing from The George Washington University; a bachelor’s in marketing and business from George Mason University and is a member of the National Association of Government Communicators, National Information Officers Association and Public Relations Society of America.

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