Eileen Hawley, who most recently has served as vice president operations for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce is joining the Brownback administration as Director of Communications and Press Secretary for the Governor. She will assume the office on June 24.
Hawley has more than 25 years of corporate and government public affairs experience that includes being the "Voice of Mission Control" for more than 40 space shuttle and space station missions during the time she served as communications and outreach director for NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Background in NASA
She led communications efforts following the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the subsequent return to flight of the shuttle program. As JSC's Director of External Relations, she also led programs in media relations, government affairs, education outreach and internal communications while serving NASA.
She was an adviser to senior NASA leadership and received an Outstanding Leadership Medal in May of 2008. She moved to Kansas later that year. Her husband is Kansas native and Shuttle astronaut Steve Hawley. They make their home in Lawrence.
"Eileen's experience and passion for excellence will make her a great fit for the administration," said Gov. Sam Brownback. "Lt. Governor Colyer and I are excited to welcome her to our team."
"I look forward to joining the administration and supporting the priorities of Gov. Brownback and Lt. Governor Colyer," Hawley said. "This is an opportunity for me to use my skills and experience to serve the citizens of Kansas and I am truly honored to have been selected for this position."
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in media studies from the University of Houston, Clear Lake and holds a master's degree in strategic communication and leadership from Seton Hall University.
Hawley replaces Sherriene Jones-Sontag who has been appointed Deputy Director of the Kansas Lottery.