White House spokesperson Dana Perino receives 2008 Fitzwater Award

Dana Perino Press ConferenceMay 5, 2008

RINDGE, NH - White House Press Secretary Dana Perino received the 2008 Marlin Fitzwater Award for Leadership in Public Communication from Franklin Pierce University on Monday, May 5, in ceremonies on the Rindge campus.

Perino was the fifth recipient of the award, which honors an individual who has made significant contributions to public discourse in the spirit of a healthy democracy. The award reflects the mission of the Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce: to educate leaders of conscience in public communication.

The award is named for Marlin Fitzwater, former press secretary to presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Fitzwater is a Franklin Pierce trustee and serves on the Fitzwater Center advisory board. He will make the formal presentation to Perino.

Franklin Pierce alum Marc P. Tieger and Michael O'Leary, teacher at ConVal High School in Peterborough, were also be honored at the event as well as Arikka Knights, a Franklin Pierce senior from Chester, Maine. Tieger is a 1969 graduate of the University and co-founder and president of the Tieger Realty Company in Jaffrey. O'Leary teaches English and philosophy at ConVal and advises the school newspaper.

Dana Perino currently serves as Assistant to the President and Press Secretary at the White House. As the primary spokesperson for the current administration, she responds to the questions of the White House Press Corps on a daily basis. In addition, she and the Counselor to the President formulate and implement White House communications strategy.

Perino previously served as the principal Deputy Press Secretary at the White House. Prior to joining the press office, Perino worked as Associate Director of Communications at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) where she provided strategic counsel on message development, media relations and public outreach for CEQ and its chairman.

Before coming to the White House, Perino participated in many aspects of the communications field, covering the
State Assembly of Illinois as a television journalist for WCIA-TV; working in the private sector in San Diego, including at the Porter Novelli Convergence Group; and serving as a press officer.

Perino received her master's in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois and her bachelor's in mass communications from the University of Southern Colorado. Born in Wyoming and raised in Colorado, Perino now resides in Washington, D.C., and is married to Peter McMahon.

Perino is the fifth recipient of the Fitzwater Award for Leadership in Public Communication. Other recipients include: Steve Scully, C-SPAN senior executive producer and political editor, 2007; Kenneth Walsh, White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report; 2006; Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), 2005; and Victoria Clark, Deputy Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, 2004.