Suzanne DeFrancis joined the American Red Cross as its chief public affairs officer in July 2007 to oversee all communications, government affairs, and public outreach. Her mother, a Red Cross volunteer during World War II who drove wounded soldiers to DC-area hospitals inspired her passion for the organization she works for today.
Prior to the Red Cross, DeFrancis was assistant secretary of public affairs for the US Department of Health and Human Services. She managed communications on issues including disaster preparedness and response, pandemic planning, and the rollout of the Medicare prescription drug benefit. She was also deputy assistant to the president for communications from 2002 to 2004. On the agency side she served as SVP and director of public affairs at Porter Novelli.