Crisis Communications and Media Relations
Kelly Huston has an interesting, and now diverse, background of experience in government and private sector communications leadership positions. Most notably, Kelly has been the face and voice of many of the highest profile events in California. He represented the Modesto Police Department during the devastating floods of 1997 and the notorious Yosemite sightseer disappearance and murder investigation two years later; he appeared on numerous national television and radio broadcasts during the nationwide search for Washington Intern Chandra Levy; and was appointed by the California courts to organize the overwhelming media coverage of the trial of Scott Peterson who was eventually sent to death row for the murder of his wife Laci. Recently, he managed the state's Joint Information Center during federally-declared disasters including wildfires, mudslides and earthquakes.
Kelly is now an Assistant Secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) – formerly known as the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. He leads a team of communications professionals working daily on a wide range of public safety issues including disaster mitigation, response and recovery. Kelly is also on the leading edge of technology and has implemented several Web 2.0 programs at Cal EMA - including the use of social media to reach Californians in a new way. He also served as a Governor’s appointee in 2005 as the Deputy Communications Director for Governor's Office of Homeland Security. In that role he developed the Governor’s statewide media relations strategy in homeland security and developed statewide crisis communications training for state and local agencies. He also worked closely with all of California’s public safety agencies as a liaison.
Prior to the Governor’s office, Kelly served as the Vice President of Corporate Communications & Marketing for a Northern California real estate & land development corporation with a multi-million dollar marketing budget and over $2 billion in total company sales transactions annually.
Kelly served five years as Manager of the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department Media Relations and Legislative Affairs Unit. He provided leadership and direction for the department's designated public information officers and coordinated media outreach on some of the nation's highest profile cases. In addition, Kelly was the key legislative advocate for the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department. He worked closely with legislators and their staff at the State Capitol in Sacramento on public safety and legislative issues affecting law enforcement agencies across the state.
Kelly holds a Bachelors degree in Organizational Communication and is an instructor for the California Specialized Training Institute in southern California teaching portions of the statewide Crisis Communication & the Media classes. Kelly has done numerous training sessions and presentations for public officials. Kelly is a State of California and FBI-trained Crisis/Hostage Negotiator. He is a member of the the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and a tireless advocate for animals in his spare time.