Shawn Talmadge brings over 20 years of experience in emergency response operations to his post as Assistant Secretary for Public Safety and Homeland Security. He served within the state and local emergency response field as a paramedic, firefighter, and hazardous materials technician in various volunteer and career departments across the Commonwealth, ultimately achieving the rank of Battalion Chief in the Hanover County Fire-EMS Department. While at the Virginia Department of Transportation, Mr. Talmadge conducted security assessments and implemented a number of security projects to help better protect state critical infrastructure.
In 2009, Shawn reported for active duty with the National Guard where he served in various leadership roles including Battery Command, Deputy Commander of Virginia's CBRNE Enhanced Response Force, and Chief of the Joint Operations Center. After two deployments to the Middle East, Shawn continues his service in the Virginia National Guard as the Battalion Commander of the state's single artillery battalion. In 2015, Mr. Talmadge was appointed as Virginia's first Director of Homeland Security and Resilience under Governor McAuliffe's administration where he re-established the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee, led the state's FirstNet evaluation process resulting in Virginia being the first to opt-in to the nationwide wireless network dedicated to public safety users, and established a variety of new critical infrastructure and cyber security initiatives.