Mayor Chris Coleman announced today that he has appointed Tonya Tennessen to serve as communications director for the City of Saint Paul. Tennessen has 12 years of communications experience, most recently serving as an account director for global public relations firm Weber Shandwick where her clients included Fortune 500 companies and federal government agencies. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Tennessen held communications positions in federal government and statewide electoral politics.
“I am excited for the mix of high-level private sector and government communications experience Tonya will bring to my administration,” Mayor Chris Coleman said. “Saint Paul is in a vital period, with the Green Line opening, a vibrant and growing downtown and crucial educational initiatives, and Tonya will be an asset as we focus on the future of the city.”
Tennessen’s areas of expertise include developing public education campaigns, issues and crisis management, digital communications and strategic partnerships.
“I am honored to be joining Mayor Coleman’s team,” Tennessen said. “I have long admired the Mayor’s focus on economic development, his collaborative approach with the business community and his advocacy around education policy issues. I look forward to supporting these key initiatives and engaging residents and stakeholders through effective communications strategies.”
Tennessen’s political experience includes serving as managing communications director for the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, press secretary for then-United States Senator Mark Dayton and communications director for the Kelly Doran for Governor campaign.
Tennessen holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was named one of the Twin Cities’ “40 under 40” by the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Business Journal in 2013.
Tennessen’s official start date is April 30, 2014.