Patricia (Pat) de Stacy Harrison was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs on October 2, 2001. As an entrepreneur, author and political leader, Ms. Harrison has over 20 years experience in communication strategy, coalition, and constituency building. A nationally known spokesperson prior to and during her term as Co-Chairman of the Republican Party, she was the first Co-Chairman of Italian heritage and the first Co-Chairman not previously a member of the Republican National Committee.
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, she 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.
The author of A Seat At The Table and America's New Women Entrepreneurs, 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 of the 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 is a graduate of American University. She is married and the mother of three children.