Jennifer Smits

Jennifer Smits


Work History

Work History


  • Internship at the Herald Mail (Hagerstown, MD), 2003
  • Internship at the Chronicle of the Horse, 2005
  • Freelance/part-time for the Journal newspaper (Martinsburg, WV), 2004-2006
Sep 2009 - Present

Public Affairs Specialist

U.S. Census Bureau
  • Public Affairs Specialist for the Decennial Census.
  • Planned successful national launch event for Census in Schools program, including working with vendor to put together bites and broll package and satellite media tour. Speakers included Secretary of Commerce and Director of Census Bureau.
  • Staffed and acted as headquarters POC for 15 national "Portrait of America" road tour events in cities throughout the country.
  • Helped plan launch of Children Count Too! campaign featuring Dora The Explorer PSA and staffed launch event for campaign.
  • Answered media questions regarding the 2010 Census and staffed interviews with subject matter experts.
  • PIO liasion for Kansas City and Dallas Regional offices and National Processing Center
  • Guided reporters to census data using American Fact Finder.
Nov 2007 - Sep 2009

Special Projects Public Affairs Specialist

Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Developed internal communications newsletter (TRO in the Know) and served as its editor
  • Managed employee transition communications plan (information for employees on "rightsizing") and editor of weekly CORE transition newsletter (1604 and Beyond)
  • Public Affairs photographer for Mississippi Transitional Recovery Office
  • Coordinated community outreach activities: managed Speaker's Bureau program, developed successful FEMA in the Classroom schools program and made presentations to school classes
  • Planned events, such as FEMA in the Classroom employee night and All Hands meetings
  • Managed Core Values communications plan
  • Assisted with development of office intranet, served as PIO intranet content leader, and backup web content manager
  • Developed graphic materials including Power Point, posters and photo walls for special projects
  • Taught "Working Successfully with the media and public affairs" class for new employees.
Feb 2007 - Oct 2007

Public Affairs Specialist (media monitoring)

Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • Daily media monitoring duties included analyzing and compiling twice daily reports of print, television and internet media coverage dealing with Hurricane Katrina and FEMA in Mississippi.
  • Special projects included development of monthly employee newsletter (continue to serve as its editor), photography and writing news releases and other products according to AP Style.
May 2004 - Aug 2006


Contemporary American Theater Festival
  • Summer position: 2004, 2005, 2006
  • Coordinated all media relations for the festival including writing press releases, liaisons with critics and feature writers, all interviews for playwrights, directors and actors
  • Coordinated photo shoots
  • Coordinated press weekend
  • Member of CATF senior management team
  • Oversight of CATF program (80 pages)
  • Coordinated publicity for humanities program
  • Supervision of publicity intern and photography intern
  • Updated and published material to website,


2000 - 2004

Bachelor of Science

West Virginia University
  • Major: Journalism, news-editorial concentration
  • Minor: Theater
  • Magna Cum Laude
  • 3.7 gpa (out of 4.0)
  • Study abroad semester at Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland