White House Fellows
|SPRING 2001||VOLUME 26||NUMBER 2|
From the Director
Introducing the New Director
|Experiencing the Transition|
White House Fellows Program Survey
Domestic Policy Trip Appalachia
WHF Association Annual Meeting
Mark your calendars for the Annual Meeting on October 25-26 in Washington, D.C. The theme this year is: The State of our American Union
Introducing the New Director
As many of you know, I was appointed by President Bush as Director of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships in April of this year. I am pleased to have been given this honor. I am even more pleased that I was selected, since this is the position I was most interested in because of my past experience with the program. While working in the Reagan White House in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Sharon Richie, a White House Fellow ('82-83) assigned to our office, invited me to hear Herman Wouk speak about his newest book, War and Remembrance. I was mesmerized by the event. Sharon invited me to other White House Fellows events after that. I decided to apply for the program, but upon reviewing the application realized that I had not done enough yet (I was in my twenties) to be selected. So I decided back then, 17 years ago that there was more than one way to accomplish my desire to be a part of the program .one day I would run the program instead. And, here I am.
Vision for the WHF Program
I think this is a great program. But, all great programs can be further enhanced. To that end, I have the following vision for the program:
I plan to take steps to enhance the White House Fellows program by increasing the quantity and diversity (ethnic, racial and professions represented) of quality applicants, making this a premier program better recognized nationally and internationally. I also plan to work to ensure that all of the "Employer-Fellow" relationships are successful. Finally, I plan to assist, as appropriate, the foundation in obtaining a significant endowment that will take the program into the foreseeable future and allow for greater learning experiences.
These goals will require extensive internal and external outreach, including affiliations with organizations that would benefit the program. I look forward to working with the Board on the Phase II endowment campaign to provide the annual income necessary to negate the need to fundraise in the future. I also envision the endowment fund:
Having been on board only 3 weeks, as of this writing, I may find that this vision needs to be modified as I learn more.
Background on the New Director
I am a businesswoman/entrepreneur with a background in strategic communications and government relations. I come from a highly specialized field called "risk communication" which is a method of communication necessary in low trust/
high concern situations usually involving environmental or health concerns. Eleven years ago, I started a company called Environmental Issues Management, Inc. (EIM), an environmental and risk communication firm. Our clients were mostly Fortune 50 companies.
While at EIM, I worked on more than 100 environmental projects across the country and trained numerous corporate executives in risk communication. I am the author of various publications including an April 17, 1992 Op-Ed printed in The New York Times, a November 19, 1992 Op-Ed printed in The Washington Post, and the first book on Superfund communications entitled How to Survive Superfund: A 1990s Communications Guide. In addition, I have been a frequent speaker on risk communication at industry and legal seminars across the country.
Several years after starting EIM, along with partners, I started a sister company called Remedial Technologies Network, LLC (RTN), an internet-based company providing information on innovative, emerging, and existing technologies for cleaning up hazardous waste sites. I sold EIM to DecisionQuest, a trial consulting and Jury Research firm in 1998. RTN was sold in 2000 to another organization. While at DecisionQuest, I provided strategic communications counsel to litigation and environmental clients and led the effort to identify research and strategic communications firms as acquisition targets.
Additional work includes: Serving as a Vice President at APCO Associates, the Arnold & Porter Consulting Group, where I oversaw the firm's legislative, regulatory, public relations, and grassroots coalition-building activities; serving on the White House staff in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs during the Reagan Administration as Andy Card's Deputy; serving as Manager of Regulatory Affairs for the Can Manufacturers Institute; working for Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., the nation's first environmental boutique law firm; and working for the Congressional Research Service.
I Am Interested in Your Views
I would be interested in feedback from any of you on how you would like to see the program enhanced. The survey in this newsletter will help. Many of you already have called, written or stopped in to visit. I appreciate all of the support and comments I already have received. I encourage you to come visit. Because I am so interested in working with all of you, I suggest that you call ahead of time, so that I can be sure that I am available when you stop in.
Again, I am pleased to be a part of this program and I look forward to working with you.