Biography of Patricia de Stacy Harrison -- Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
Patricia (Pat) de Stacy Harrison was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs by Secretary of State Colin Powell on October 2, 2001.
Through U.S. Department of State-sponsored international education and exchange programs, Ms. Harrison has focused on reaching wider, more diverse publics with an emphasis on youth. She has created "Partnerships for Learning" (P4L), a global initiative providing young people with enhanced education and opportunity. Within a range of P4L programs are the first official U.S. high school exchanges with the Arab and Muslim world. The P4L CultureConnect program sends accomplished American men and women abroad to engage young people through master classes and dialogue. Through a website dedicated to the program, CultureConnect Ambassadors mentor young people worldwide. She has directed the historic resumption of the Fulbright Program in Afghanistan and Iraq. As Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy during the Iraq conflict, Ms. Harrison also collaborated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to bring the Iraq National Symphony Orchestra to Washington, and she has initiated a comprehensive renewal of the Baghdad National Museum.
As an entrepreneur, author and political leader, Ms. Harrison has over 20 years of experience in communication strategy, coalition, and constituency building. She is the author of A Seat At The Table and America's New Women Entrepreneurs. As founder and President of the National Women's Economic Alliance, she worked to identify women and minorities for leadership roles in business and politics. Through The Decade for Democracy, a mentoring exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration, Ms. Harrison worked with women entrepreneurs in emerging democracies, to help them achieve within their new free enterprise systems.
As a founding partner of E. Bruce Harrison Company, among the country's top ten owner-managed public affairs firms prior to its sale in 1996, she created and directed programs in the public interest comprising diverse stakeholder groups, including the National Environmental Development Association, a partnership of labor, agriculture and industry working for better environmental solutions together.
Appointed by President Bush (1990) to the President's Export Council, U.S. Department of Commerce, Ms. Harrison served on the Executive Committee and worked to strengthen export promotion programs on behalf of U.S. business. She also chaired the International Committee, Small Business Advisory Council, Small Business Administration, and in 1992 was appointed to serve on the United States Trade Representative.s Service Policy Advisory Council. In 1997, Ms. Harrison was elected Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee and served until January 2001.
Ms. Harrison received an Honorary Doctorate from the American University of Rome in 2002. In 2000, she served as a Visiting Fellow, Institute of Public Service, The Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania. In 1992, she was a Visiting Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Ms. Harrison is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the 1999 Global Women's Leadership Award; 1999 New York Black Republican Council's Woman of the Year Award; 1998 Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award; 1988 Entrepreneur of the Year/Arthur Young Company and Venture Magazine; 1989 Distinguished Woman Award, Northwood Institute; and 1997 Ladies Home Journal "50 Most Influential Women in Politics."
She is a former member of the Executive Committee, National Italian American Foundation; a former Thomas Colloquium Free Enterprise Chair Guest Lecturer at Youngstown State University in Ohio; and a former Chairman of the Board, Guest Services, Inc.
Ms. Harrison, a native of Brooklyn, New York, is a graduate of American University.