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Sandy Hook Promise announces new COO

Dawn Lyons to oversee operations of nation’s leading school safety and gun violence prevention organization

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Sandy Hook Promise, the preeminent national school safety and gun violence prevention organization, just announced its new Chief Operating Officer (COO), Dawn Lyons. She joined the organization in 2018, most recently serving as senior vice president of marketing. 

“We are thrilled that Dawn is stepping up to serve in our newly established COO role,” said Nicole Hockley, Sandy Hook Promise’s co-founder and CEO and mother of Dylan, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. “She is a consummate professional who knows our organization and values our people — and she is an innovator who will streamline operations so that all of us can do our best work and continue to save lives.”

Lyons brings more than a decade of professional experience, including work for major corporations, such as Procter and Gamble and Helen of Troy. During her tenure at Sandy Hook Promise, Lyons expanded the marketing and program development departments, growing the team to more than five times the original size. Under her direction, the organization’s footprint has swelled with distinguished national ad campaigns, including an Emmy Award-winning PSA, “Back-to-School Essentials”. Lyons has also led the grassroots fundraising and federal grant work that have enabled the expansion of Sandy Hook Promise’s programs and impact.

As COO, Lyons will put her exceptional leadership skills and business acumen to work managing day-to-day operations and providing strategic guidance and oversight. She will oversee operational functions including marketing, development, technology and grants, ensuring that the organization optimizes resources to continue its growth and impact.

“I am honored and excited to take on this new role,” said Lyons. “I am passionate about Sandy Hook Promise’s work to stop school shootings and keep all children safe from gun violence. I look forward to supporting our team of dedicated and elite professional staff with the resources and systems they need to be successful in this life-saving work.”

Lyons is a native of Pittsburgh and currently lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut with her family. She holds a dual Bachelor of Science from The Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati.


Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to end school shootings and create a culture change that prevents violence and other harmful acts that hurt children. Through its life-saving, evidence-informed “Know the Signs” prevention programs, SHP educates and empowers youth and adults to recognize, intervene, and get help for individuals who may be socially isolated and/or at risk of hurting themselves or others. Through nonpartisan policy and partnerships, SHP advances gun safety, youth mental health, and violence prevention education at the state and federal levels that protect all children from gun violence in their schools, homes, and communities. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.