Director of Communications
The Director of Communications is responsible for the development and delivery of effective communication strategies. Internal and external communication is managed with quality and credible information. Creating a positive relationship with various publics is executed with news releases, media interviews, newsletters, emails, videos, social media postings and other special projects.
Appointed by Governor Ivey in September 2019, Terry Abbott serves as Director of Communications for the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles. He is from Cullman, Alabama.
Abbott’s professional experience provides a quality foundation for his role at ABPP. In 2001, he served as Chief of Staff to the U.S. Secretary of Education, where he directed the operations of the Secretary’s office and served as the chief political and communications advisor. The same year, Abbott was appointed by the President to serve as Deputy Commissioner for Communications at the U.S. Social Security Administration — one of the largest agencies of the federal government.
His career further includes serving as the co-owner and Chairman for Drive West Communications, a Houston-based public relations and public affairs firm. For eight years, he led the development of new and successful communication strategies, while enhancing the leadership of hundreds of school districts and other public and private sector organizations.
Abbott established a successful career in education by serving as the Press Secretary for the Houston Independent School District, the 7th largest school district in the United States.
In 1996, Abbott served as campaign manager for Jeff Sessions of Alabama for the U.S. Senate. He also led the campaign for Charlie Graddick from 1994-1995, for his run as lieutenant governor of Alabama.
Appointed as the youngest governor’s press secretary in the history of the State of Alabama, Abbott served as chief spokesperson for the Gov. Guy Hunt administration from 1987-1993. Prior to being press secretary, he was the Bureau Manager and Political Reporter at one of the world’s largest news organizations, United Press International, in Montgomery.
His career began at Cullman Times, where he served as a reporter and later news editor. In 1983, he was awarded Best News Story in Alabama by the Alabama Press Association for a 24-part series on corruption at city hall.