Ex-NASA Official to Join Kansas Governor’s Staff

A former NASA communications official who also is an astronaut’s wife will be Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s new chief spokeswoman.

Brownback’s office announced Wednesday that Eileen Hawley will join his staff June 24 as communications director and press secretary. Hawley will replace Sherriene (shuh-REEN’) Jones-Sontag, who will become deputy director of the Kansas Lottery next month.

Hawley is vice president of operations for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. But before moving to Kansas in 2008, she directed communications for the Johnson Space Center in Houston. She also served as an adviser to senior NASA officials and was the center’s voice for dozens of space shuttle missions.

She is married to Steve Hawley, a Kansas native who flew five space shuttle missions and now teaches at the University of Kansas.