Maura Fitzgerald Downes Joins MJC

Maura Fitzgerald Downes joins McDowell Jewett Communications as Senior Vice President

Maura Fitzgerald Downes has been named Senior Vice President of McDowell Jewett Communications. Downes has been involved in Connecticut public affairs as a public information officer, public relations consultant, and communications advisor to top elected officials for more than 20 years.


Since 2016, Downes served as Director of Communications for the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH).  During that time she oversaw all social and traditional media for nearly 40 programs within DPH and the Commissioner’s office, the creation of a media training program for DPH staff and local health officials, and the implementation of several audio and video public service announcements for various public health educational campaigns.  Her tenure at the DPH included the State’s response to the Zika virus outbreak, the growing opioid and prescription drug misuse epidemic, and the most severe influenza season since the 2009 flu pandemic.

“Since her early days working in communications at the Connecticut State Senate to her recent years with the DPH, Maura has always been trusted by those who work with her and the reporters with whom she interacts,” said Duby McDowell, Founder and President of McDowell Jewett Communications.  “Maura is known for providing consistently solid guidance on the development and execution of effective communications strategies. We know our clients will benefit from her insight.”

“I’m proud to join McDowell Jewett and look forward to working with my new colleagues and the firm’s clients in that unique intersection of journalism, politics, and public policy to advance their goals and bring about positive change in Connecticut,” Downes said. 

Prior to her work at the DPH, Downes was the Deputy State Director for U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and in 2010 served as then-Attorney General Blumenthal’s Communications Director on his successful Senate campaign. Downes has also worked at private sector public relations firms in the Hartford area and has worked in communications for the Connecticut General Assembly, Attorney General and Secretary of the State.