Jessi Widhalm

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  • Master of Public Policy - George Mason University
  • Bachelor of Government and International Politics, with a minor in Political Communications - George Mason University

Jessi Widhalm

Communications Director

Mrs. Jessi Widhalm (Nalepa), Communications Director, is a strategic communications and external affairs professional with over a decade of experience. In her role, Jessi is responsible for driving the company’s external communications strategy and brand through effective media engagement, digital communication, as well as public relations and advocacy campaigns.

Prior to joining Hagerty, Jessi spent nearly a decade in federal service. Most recently, she served as Director of External Affairs for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In this role, she managed the daily operations of the agency’s public affairs, strategic communications, congressional and intergovernmental affairs, as well as the campaign. During her tenure at FEMA, Jessi also served as the Director of Congressional Affairs where she was the agency’s principal liaison with the United States (US) Congress and ensured that the agency’s priorities were reflected throughout the legislative and oversight process.

A proven crisis communications expert, Jessi effectively coordinated and led the FEMA’s external communications and engagements for over 234 Presidentially declared disasters, including the COVID-19 pandemic as well as some of the nation’s most devastating hurricanes and wildfires.

Before her service in the executive branch, Jessi spent nearly seven years on Capitol Hill. She culminated her career in the legislative branch by serving as the Chief of Staff to US Congressman Michael T. McCaul (TX-10), then Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

A loyal George Mason University Patriot, Jessi is a two-time graduate holding a bachelor’s degree in government and international politics with a minor in political communication, and master’s degree in public policy with a focus in national security.

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