Alexis Wichowski is Press Secretary and Senior Advisor for Communications at DVS. In this role, she manages all aspects of traditional and digital media relations and advises the Commissioner and staff on public engagements. Wichowski previously served the City of New York as a Disaster Relief Field Responder for the American Red Cross, conducting site visits to residential fires, floods, building collapses and other natural and manmade disasters. She was an active member of the Ground Zero response during and after 9/11.
Previous government work includes Program Officer for the US Department of State's Office of eDiplomacy, Diplomatic Innovation Division under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Director of Media Analysis & Strategy at the Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations. Outside government, Wichowski has experience as a long-term caregiver, media impact researcher, information architect, academic book indexer, web coder, theater producer, Chinese sitcom actor, and pretzel vendor.
In addition to her full-time work, Wichowski teaches, conducts research, and writes about the impact of technology on government and media. Since 2011, she has served on the adjunct faculty at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, teaching two courses: "E-Government & Digital Diplomacy" - which students voted to win a "Top 5 Course Award" out of almost 200 courses -- and "Technology, National Security and the Citizen." Recent publications include, Hack the bureaucracy: a user's guide to getting things done in government (with or without tech) (GovExec), Social Diplomacy, or How Diplomats Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tweet, (Foreign Affairs), What Government Can and Should Learn from Hacker Culture, and a chapter in Digital Diplomacy: Theory & Practice, Secrecy is for losers': why diplomats should embrace openness to protect national security.Wichowski holds a PhD in Information Science from SUNY Albany and a BA in Chinese from Connecticut College, completed in three years cum laude. Awards and honors include: "Distinguished Dissertation Award" from the College of Computing and Information at SUNY Albany, University at Albany's "Women in Technology" award, the Presidential Management Fellowship, two Meritorious Honor Awards, and a Fulbright-Hayes Fellowship. Wichowski lives in Brooklyn with her husband and three children, swims / bikes / runs, and reads science fiction voraciously.