Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security

Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security


Building a Safer More Resilient Virginia
The Secretariat also assists the Governor in the development and implementation of public safety and homeland security policies. The Secretariat supports the Governor’s strategic priorities through four established pillars of interagency collaboration:  All-Hazards Emergency Response, Reducing Recidivism, Preventing Gun Violence, and Smart Policing.


Brian J. Moran, Secretary

Brian J. Moran was appointed by Governor McAuliffe in January 2014 and reappointed by Governor Northam in January 2018 as Virginia’s first Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. The Office of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security is comprised of 10 state agencies and includes the Homeland Security Division. Secretary Moran serves as the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor and the Governor’s Criminal Justice Advisor.

Throughout the course of his appointment, Secretary Moran has led the effort on numerous criminal justice reform and homeland security initiatives. The Virginia Department of Corrections enjoys the lowest recidivism rate in the nation for the third consecutive year. He has supervised the transformation of Virginia’s juvenile justice system. He negotiated raising the felony larceny threshold for the first time in 38 years. Secretary Moran also developed states’ response to permitted events and states’ preparedness for civil unrest after the events in Charlottesville in 2017.

Prior to his appointment, Secretary Moran served as a long time County prosecutor in Arlington, Virginia. In 1996, he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates representing the city of Alexandria and Fairfax County, a seat he held for 13 years. He championed and sponsored legislation in the areas of child abuse, domestic violence, drunk driving, drug interdiction and elder abuse. He forged bipartisan coalitions and support to pass numerous pieces of legislation. Most notably, he created the felony drunk driving law and Alicia’s Law, which provides law enforcement the necessary tools to stop internet sexual predators from preying on our children.

Secretary Moran received his bachelor’s degree from Framingham State University and his Juris Doctor from the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In 2015, he was awarded the President’s award by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. He was recently elected to the Executive Committee of the Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council.

Jae K. Davenport, Deputy Secretary

Prior to her current appointment by Governor Northam as Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, she served as Deputy Counsel to Governor Terry McAuliffe. Ms. Davenport began her professional career as a public defender in Franklin, Virginia, where she represented juveniles and adults charged with misdemeanors and felonies in three jurisdictions. Subsequently, she was the Standards of Practice and Legal Training Attorney for the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission (VIDC) where she oversaw the enforcement of the mandatory standards of practice, certification of court-appointed counsel and legal training for all public defenders and certified attorneys. She was also a legislative advocate for the VIDC.

Ms. Davenport was born in Seoul, Korea, but has spent most of her life in Richmond and earned her B.A. from Mary Baldwin College and J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law.

Shawn Talmadge, Deputy Secretary

Shawn Talmadge serves as Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security and Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor where he supervises the Secretariat’s Homeland Security Division and the Departments of Emergency Management, Fire Programs, and State Police.  He has served within the emergency response and homeland security field for over 25 years at the state and local level as an incident commander, critical care paramedic, firefighter, and hazardous materials technician, ultimately achieving the rank of Battalion Chief in the Hanover County Fire-EMS Department.

In his current role, Mr. Talmadge supervises a staff focused on the development of new initiatives and policies within critical infrastructure protection, cyber security, homeland security, and public safety communications interoperability.

Throughout his career in the Virginia National Guard, Shawn held a number of leadership roles including Battalion Commander, Executive Officer, Chief of Joint Operations, and Deputy Commander of the CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP).  He led a number of initiatives including the development of CERFP training standards and doctrine, established standardized response task forces to speed response to domestic emergencies, the development of less than lethal technologies, and managed counter UAS and detection operations.  His awards include the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award for recognition as the top company grade officer in the US Army, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (3rd award), the Purple Heart and others.  After two deployments to the Middle East, Shawn continues his service in the Virginia National Guard as the Operations Officer at Fort Pickett.

Previously, Mr. Talmadge was appointed as Virginia’s first Director of the Homeland Security and Resilience Staff Group under Governor McAuliffe’s administration where he re-established the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee, led the state’s FirstNet evaluation process resulting in Virginia being the first to opt-in to the nationwide wireless network dedicated to public safety users, and established a variety of new critical infrastructure and cyber security initiatives designed to bolster the resilience of Virginia.

Shawn has coauthored national level, interagency response protocols to large-scale incidents, responded to numerous regional and state level disasters, and presented at conferences on various homeland security topics.  He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Tech in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise and a Master’s Degree from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.  He also holds the Certified Emergency Manager designation from the International Association of Emergency Managers.


The Secretariat of Public Safety and Homeland Security is comprised of ten public safety agencies that help enhance the quality of Virginia’s citizens, visitors and businesses of the Commonwealth through public awareness, education, training, emergency response, disaster preparedness, prevention, policy development, enforcement, response, recovery and reentry.

Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority

Source: Website

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) administers ABC laws with an emphasis on public safety by ensuring an orderly and regulated system for convenient sales and responsible consumption of alcohol. Virginia ABC generates a reliable stream of revenue for the Commonwealth through the collection of taxes on beer and wine sales, violation penalties, license fees, and the sale of distilled spirits at more than 375 ABC stores.

Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council

Source: Website

The Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services Council is an executive branch state agency responsible for coordinating and providing training, education, and services for Virginia’s prosecutors. The 120 elected Commonwealth’s Attorneys and their approximately 650 Assistants statewide depend on Council-sponsored training programs to meet the annual mandatory continuing legal education (MCLE) requirements mandated by the Virginia State Bar to maintain their licenses to practice law.

 Virginia Department of Corrections

Source: Website

The Virginia Department of Corrections is a model correctional agency that currently oversees the housing of 33,000 offenders and the supervision of over 58,000 offenders in the community. Virginia’s recidivism rate is the lowest in its history and the second lowest in the nation at 22.8%. The Department is also an innovative leader through the application of cutting edge research-based programs to improve offender transition success. These outstanding results are made possible by the employees of the Department who are committed to the highest professional standards and excellence in public service.

Department of Criminal Justice Services

Source: Website

The Department of Criminal Justice Services provides comprehensive planning and state-of-the-art technical and support services for the criminal justice system to improve and promote public safety in the Commonwealth. The Department of Criminal Justice Services is charged with planning and carrying out programs and initiatives to improve the effectiveness and functions of the criminal justice system as a whole.

Department of Emergency Management

Source: Website

The Department of Emergency Management protects the lives and property of Virginia’s citizens from emergencies and disasters through emergency preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts. The Department of Emergency Management coordinates the state’s emergency response efforts by working with local, state and federal partners, as well as private, nonprofit and volunteer organizations.

Department of Fire Programs

Source: Website

The Department of Fire Programs strives to be the internationally recognized and trusted leader in providing fire and emergency services support to communities throughout Virginia. It delivers funding, professional development, public fire and life safety education, research, operational support, advocacy, and technical assistance. The Virginia Department of Fire Programs provides programs and services to the citizens of all Virginia towns, cities and counties as well as more than 770 fire departments and approximately 40,000 firefighters.

 Department of Forensic Science

Source: Website

The Department of Forensic Science is a nationally accredited forensic laboratory system serving all state and local law enforcement agencies, medical examiners, and Commonwealth’s Attorneys in Virginia. The Department’s examiners provide technical assistance and training, evaluate and analyze evidence, interpret results, and provide expert testimony related to the full spectrum of physical evidence recovered from crime scenes.

Department of Juvenile Justice

Source: Website

The Department of Juvenile Justice protects the public through a balanced approach of accountability and comprehensive services that prevents and reduces juvenile delinquency through partnerships with families, schools, communities, law enforcement and others, while providing opportunities for delinquent youth to become responsible and productive citizens. The Department is responsible for the operation of Court Service Units that work with the judiciary and the Correctional Centers that provide physical security as well as discipline and treatment for wards committed to their care by the judiciary.

Virginia Parole Board

Source: Website

The Virginia Parole Board is responsible for determining who is to be released on discretionary parole. The Board takes into consideration many factors to determine whether an individual is suitable for release back into the community.  The Board is cognizant of their responsibility to both the individuals being considered for Parole and the citizens of the Commonwealth to best ensure the safety of society.

Virginia State Police

Source: Website

The Virginia State Police, independent yet supportive of other law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, provides high quality, statewide law enforcement services to the people of Virginia and our visitors. With 75 years of service to the citizens of the Commonwealth, the men and women of this statewide agency strive to fulfill their public safety mission while improving the quality of life for those living, working and visiting in Virginia.

Homeland Security Division

Source: Website

The Homeland Security Division of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security acts as the Cabinet-level State office for leading a unified effort to ensure a secure Commonwealth, a confident public, and a strong and resilient society and economy.


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