Archive for Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Brownback announces new press secretary: Lawrence resident Eileen Hawley

June 12, 2013, 11:07 a.m. Updated June 12, 2013, 11:56 p.m.


A former NASA communications official who also is an astronaut’s wife will be Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s new chief spokeswoman, the governor’s office announced Wednesday.

Brownback’s office said Eileen Hawley will join his staff June 24 as communications director and press secretary. Hawley will replace Sherriene Jones-Sontag, who will become deputy director of the Kansas Lottery next month.

Before moving to Kansas in 2008, Hawley directed communications for the Johnson Space Center in Houston. She also served as an adviser to senior NASA officials and was the center’s voice for dozens of space shuttle missions.

Brownback noted in a statement that Hawley has worked in corporate and government communications for more than 25 years and called her “a great fit” for his administration.

She is married to Steve Hawley, a Kansas native who flew five space shuttle missions and logged more than 32 days in space after joining the shuttle program in 1978. He’s now a professor of physics and astronomy at Kansas University and has been director of its engineering physics program since 2010.

Eileen Hawley is vice president of operations for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. The chamber has announced that Jean Milstead will join the staff as interim director of operations.

Jones-Sontag has been the most visible member of Brownback’s staff and his chief spokeswoman since he took office in January 2011. She had the same role in his successful campaign for governor in 2009 and 2010.


Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 8 months ago

She was the "voice of Mission control" for more than 40 Space shuttle and space station missions. Is this an attempt at establishing credibility? James Earl Jones has a Great voice too. If he is asked to repeat what some one has written and that turns out to be lies, They are still lies no matter whose voice it is.

StirrrThePot 4 years, 8 months ago

Interesting that Brownback would pick someone who lived in a "dark spiritual area".

Gary Pomeroy 4 years, 8 months ago

Velcome to der Bunker, Frauline Goebbels. Kind of like putting lipstick on a pig - fronting for Der Fuhrer.

roggy 4 years, 8 months ago

Really, four posts and already Godwin?

NewKansan 4 years, 8 months ago

People won't take you seriously when you make comments like this. No matter how much hatred we have for politicians, I think we have it a little bit better than the WWII era.

overthemoon 4 years, 8 months ago

Why on earth does he need a press secretary? Everything he does is done in secret without input from knowledgeable stake holders or research into the consequences of 'bold' decisions. What is a press secretary going to be able to do other than issue edicts to a limited number of press outlets?

BigDog 4 years, 8 months ago


Her credentials are laid out in the Topeka Capital Journal article along with a bit more information. Not sure why LJW didn't provide much information.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 8 months ago

Not questioning her credentials. She is obviously a qualified speaker. How Qualified do you have to be to Lie for Brownback and Co?

George_Braziller 4 years, 8 months ago

Maybe she and her husband have contacts at NASA and can have Sam rocketed on a one-way trip to outer space. Since his brain is already there might as well reunite his body with it.

somebodynew 4 years, 8 months ago

Anybody else happen to notice that she has Chamber connections ??? Imagine that.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

thinks like Sam ALEC Brownback does..... otherwise would not be hired.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 8 months ago

Kind of Ironic to pick someone from NASA. You do know they used Science, Technology and Accurate information from research none as Facts to get Men on the Moon. What will she think of The Brownback Regime?

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 8 months ago

Oops. Should have "known". Not "none". My bad.

riverdrifter 4 years, 8 months ago

That's exactly what I thought. This is an odd (and risky) career choice for her.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 8 months ago

I do not know Mrs. Hawley, but could it be? A pick from the reality-based community?

This pick cannot please the tea-party dummies in the Kansas legislature.

Ockhams_Razor 4 years, 8 months ago

Family values? So, what happened to Sally Ride?

How did the current Ms. Hawley get her previous job offers?

Does astronaut Hawley or Ms. Hawley agree with the anti-science legislators promoted by the Governor?? How about the "new-earth legislators" like Steve Abrams who has advocated for years the elimination of teaching of evolution (i.e. science) from school curriculum. How about the same people who have suggested elimination of the "common core" set of standards...which do not come from the federal government, but from Governor Mary Fallin of the state of Oklahoma, well known for its advanced set of educational standards. (eyes-roll).

Mr. Hawley is well regarded. Presumably Ms. Hawley is too. But this hiring proves that he and his wife are for sale, at the loss of KU, the KU School of Engineering, for their personal profit and regard.

Shame, shame, shame Hawleys. Salina is disappointed. Kansas is disappointed. Elizabeth Shultz and many other professors of yours are very disappointed. And you know it to be true.

NewKansan 4 years, 8 months ago

In the PR field, she is highly regarded. She handled press during the Columbia disaster and also works with state disaster services. Regardless of politics, this is a great opportunity for her to become a press secretary for a governor. I don't agree with the governor's politics, but this is a great opportunity.

One more thing...she does not dictate policy, so it doesn't matter what her positions are on all this stuff. The opinion that matters comes from her new boss. Her job is to disseminate information from the office. Shame on you for knocking a woman for taking a step up in her career.

NewKansan 4 years, 8 months ago

Sure, whatever you say. We're all doomed. Every politician is a crook and the government is going down in shambles.

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