Vanessa Coleburn

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Vanessa Coleburn is a character in the novel Contagious by author Scott Sigler. The character is initially introduced in episode one of the audio version of the novel.

Character Background

Vanessa holds the position of Chief of Staff in the Cabinet of U.S. President John Gutierrez. She and the President have been debriefed by CIA Deputy Director Murray Longworth on the infection that was kept secret for the past five administrations.



The character's full name Vanessa Coleburn. She is also referred to by her title ‘Chief of Staff’. There are no nicknames for this character.

Outward Appearance

Vanessa is described as a young woman of African-American heritage and the polar opposite of Secretary of Defense Donald Martin. She is further described as having a no-nonsense poker face that could freeze you where you stood.


Vanessa displays a very business like demeanor, which falls in line with his occupation of being the Chief of Staff. She can affect an expressionless manner of speaking, which coupled with her no-nonsense poker face, made her a formidable and imposing figure. President Gutierrez recognized her skill and ruthlessness upon first meeting her. These skills led Gutierrez to add her to his team. He attributes her skills to helping him get from State Senate to Congress and then into the White House.

Fan Based Character


The character of Vanessa Coleburn is named for the devoted junkie, Vanessa Cockburn, whose avatar is pictured at the left. This dedicated junkie can be found as an active member on the official Scott Sigler website forums under the user name of SlackerQueen.

See Also