Dawn Taylor Owens is the founder and president of DTO Strategies, a full-service public affairs firm providing clients with expertise in public and media relations, K-12 and higher education policy, brand development and marketing, multi-issue writing and editing, government relations, strategic communications, issue management, team-building, public outreach and stakeholder engagement, and policy and political insight.
Prior to founding DTO Strategies, Taylor Owens served as Executive Director of College In Colorado for the Colorado Department of Higher Education in February for 11 years. In this role, she led a statewide initiative, including outreach and Web site services, to help Colorado students plan their future and help ensure that they are postsecondary and workforce ready when they leave high school.
Taylor Owens served as Director of Communications for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources in February of 2002. As primary liaison for the Department with the news media, she was called upon to write opinion editorials, press releases, newsletters, issue papers and articles for publication. This experience capitalized on her earlier role as Speechwriter and senior staff for Governor Bill Owens. Appointed in August of 1999, Taylor Owens researched, wrote and edited all of the Governor’s speeches. She was also charged with various writing assignments, and to write speeches for members of the Governor’s Cabinet and staff.
Before moving to Colorado, Taylor Owens lived in Washington, D.C. where she served as Press Secretary to Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon. In this position, she was a spokesperson for Senator Smith, establishing a positive relationship between the Senator and members of the local, state, national and Capitol Hill press corps. She coordinated media interviews, press conferences, and coverage of the Senator’s speeches and appearances, and briefed the Senator prior to television and radio appearances. Taylor Owens worked for two other Senators in Washington D.C., Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming and Senator Frank Murkowski of Alaska. Additionally, she served as guest host and moderator of “Ask Your Senator” – a weekly syndicated television program featuring United States Senators.
Taylor Owens has spoken throughout the state on both political and non-political topics, on higher education and other policy issues critical to the state of Colorado, as well as critical issues facing the West. She serves on the Boards of Directors for Goodwill Industries of Denver and the Denver Public Schools Mill Oversight Committee. Taylor Owens also spends time out of the office as a freelance writer.