Shayne Adamski

digital + crisis communications



Shayne Adamski is a digital communications expert who constantly raises the bar on how content & engagement, social listening, and overall digital products can be used as effective communication tools.

Most recently, Shayne served as the Senior Manager of Digital Engagement in FEMA’s Office of External Affairs. During his eight-year tenure, Shayne was instrumental in moving the agency’s public-facing digital operation forward.

FEMA’s Digital Engagement team, lead by Shayne, launched one of the U.S. Government’s first text message programs with a dedicated short code; developed an app with a crowdsourcing function for citizens to use, another U.S. Government first; launched a Spanish version of the app; advised on a Tech Corps initiative within FEMA; stood up a social listening and digital training program; and setup systems and processes to ensure digital inquiries were handled in a timely manner.

Shayne and his team also moved the websites to a Drupal-based content management system; created a data feed for the hazard safety tips for developers to use, and also pulled the same data feed into the FEMA App; launched five redesigns and four microsites; made design a more regular part of the product workflow process; used creative design and copywriting to reach audiences; expanded the social media footprint; engaged with people through Facebook Live videos and Instagram storytelling; and setup podcast distribution and started to explore voice-enabled products.

During Hurricane Sandy, Shayne instituted a rumor control initiative to push back on rumors, misinformation, and scams, and the initiative was so successful it was repeatedly used in the subsequent hurricane seasons to correct misinformation.

In 2017, Shayne and the digital team played an active role in responding to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the California wildfires. As part of the multi-week response, the digital team answered 900+ questions on social media and 300 via text message; completed 160 social listening reports; and posted translated content in 12 languages. During the response, received 19 million page views; the FEMA App was installed 2 million times and 600 disaster photos were submitted via the App; citizens searched for open shelters via text message 132,000 times; and @FEMAespanol grew by 27% and the Instagram account grew by 70%. As part of the response, Shayne also created staffing plans for headquarters and field offices in Texas, Florida, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Throughout his time at FEMA, Shayne promoted and advocated the agency’s use of digital tools in the disaster preparedness and emergency response space. He has been quoted in FedTech Magazine, Mashable, CNN, and can be heard in a NPR segment about the launch of a new preparedness feature in the FEMA App. He participated in numerous panels to increase engagement across different audiences, including a SXSW panel titled “Mobilizing Communities in Times of Crisis,” and engaged with counterparts at numerous tech agencies including Twitter, Google, Facebook, and Cisco. Shayne also collaborated with the Ready Campaign and the Ad Council on digital marketing campaigns and provided advice and counsel on numerous outreach and campaign events.

Because of his expertise and dedication to FEMA's mission, Shayne had the distinct honor of testifying on Capitol Hill at a hearing for the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response where he discussed the agency’s use of social media in emergency management, shared best practices and successes, and detailed the agency’s continued work in this area. His written testimony was referenced in articles and papers (Introduction to Emergency Management and Disaster Communications in a Changing Media World), allowing emergency managers to apply the best practices in their day-to-day work.




Senior Manager of Digital Engagement. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Washington, DC
June 2010 - June 2018

Freelance Web Designer. Washington, DC
October 2009 - June 2010

New Media Fellow. New Organizing Institute, Washington, DC
June 2009 - August 2009

State New Media Director. Obama for America, Albuquerque, NM
September 2008 - November 2008

Field Organizer. Obama for America, Los Angeles, CA
November 2007 - September 2008

Web Producer & Writer. FOX Broadcasting, Los Angeles, CA
May 2007 - September 2008

Senior Online Content Manager. Northern Trust Company, Chicago, IL
April 2006 - November 2006

User Interface Designer. Mayer Brown, Chicago, IL
February 2002 - April 2006

Media Content Specialist. Commerx, Inc., Oak Brook, IL
March 1999 - May 2001

Volunteer Firefighter. Hometown Fire Protection District, Hometown, IL
September 1993 - September 1995



University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences
Graduated December 1998


Location: Greater Chicago Area