PRESS RELEASE: Susan Biller Named Interim Communications Director
Released September 30, 2020
Interim Communications Director Susan Biller (DOC Communications)
TUMWATER – Secretary Stephen Sinclair has named Susan Biller as the interim communications director for the Washington Department of Corrections, effective October 12, 2020. Biller currently serves as the public information officer for the Monroe Correctional Complex.
Biller has 20 years’ criminal justice experience in adult corrections, having served as administrative program manager, public information officer, facility performance coordinator, human resource consultant assistant, correctional worker core program manager and fiscal technician 2 at the Monroe Correctional Complex as well as at the agency’s headquarters in the Olympia area.
“Susan’s professionalism, experience and leadership is well-recognized and highly respected across the Department and we have every confidence in her leadership,” said Sinclair. “The Department is thankful that Susan is joining the headquarters’ communications team.”
A credentialed Type III public information officer by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Biller has served as a public information officer on the Department Incident Management Team (DIMT) since its inception in 2012. As part of the Incident Management Team, Biller has assisted in multiple deployments, including wildfire situations, as the public information officer for Washington Corrections as well as other agencies nationwide. The Incident Management Team was recognized with a 2019 Agency Award for Team Excellence. She has also been closely involved in the coordination and facilitation of the annual events to remember fallen officer Jayme Biendl. Biller most recently served as the Joint Information Center manager for the Department’s COVID-19 response.
Biller has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Washington University with an emphasis in psychology.
“I am truly excited to continue my work with everyone in Corrections and expand my knowledge to an agency-wide level,” said Biller. “Being a public servant and serving the people of Washington is vitally important to me. Corrections is difficult but necessary work for the preservation and promotion of community public safety, and must be communicated to our citizens in an understandable, relatable way.”
Biller replaces Janelle Guthrie, who has accepted the role of communications director in the private sector.
“This has been a tremendous opportunity to learn about and share the work of the Department of Corrections and the hope they provide through the programs and education they provide to those incarcerated in our facilities, in work release and under community supervision,” Guthrie said. “I’m grateful for this experience and proud to have been able to serve with a leader and colleagues who work tirelessly to improve public safety by positively changing lives.”