Michael J. Costigan

Michael Costigan is the Executive Director of the Virginia Exile-Project Safe Neighborhoods Foundation based in Richmond, VA. He was appointed to this post by the Foundation's Board of Directors in June, 2002. Prior to this appointment he served as Director of Virginia Exile in the Administration of Governor James S. Gilmore, III. Project Exile, is the precursor of President Bush's Project-Safe Neighborhoods, an aggressive approach to reducing gun crime in more communities across America.

Mr. Costigan got his start on public safety issues when he worked for Attorney General Edwin Meese, III at the U.S Department of Justice in the Administration of President Ronald Reagan. He was appointed to the department in 1988 to serve as Special Assistant to the Director of Public Affairs. Afterwards, Mr. Costigan spent a number of years working on educational and philanthropic issues, as Director of Communications and Editor for a couple of non-profit groups in Washington.

In 1991 Mr. Costigan entered the financial world. He was an investment advisor for A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. and PaineWebber, Inc. until 1997 when he returned to public service as a Cabinet advisor to Governor George Allen. He was appointed Special Assistant to the Secretary of Natural Resources, and later as the Senior Policy Advisor at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality where he was a member of the senior executive management team directly responsible for policy, public affairs and constituent services.

Mr. Costigan was an advisor to the Bush Transition team in the development of its marketing and outreach component for Project Safe Neighborhoods. He continues to serve as an advisor and consultant to other states, politicians and organizations on effective public relations strategies for reducing gun violence. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is married with three sons.