Minnesota Department of Health Communications Director 625 Robert Street N St. Paul, Mn 55155
Michael Schommer has served as the Minnesota Department of Health communications director since January 2013. In this role, he directs the department’s communications and outreach activities including media relations, social media, and stakeholder relations. Prior to joining MDH, he served as communications director for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture from 1999 to 2013. He started his career as a newspaper reporter in southern Minnesota towns of New Ulm and Rochester.
Schommer earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, and a master’s degree in strategic communication from the University of Minnesota. He served as the 2016 and 2020 president of the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC), and is a past president of the Communications Officers of State Departments of Agriculture. He was a member of the inaugural class of Minnesota’s Emerging Leaders Institute and received the 2004 Honor Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Communications from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
Professional areas of interest include crisis and risk communication, media relations, social media, communications psychology and information processing. He has helped state and local agencies respond to numerous public health and safety issues over the years, including the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response, Ebola preparedness efforts in 2014, and the 2007 collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis.