Former Bush Press Secretary Joins Burson Marsteller

PR Agency Adds Dana Perino to Roster of Political Heavyweights

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NEW YORK ( -- Joining a who's who of D.C. power players already on the agency's staff, Dana Perino, the last of President George W. Bush's many press secretaries, is joining WPP's Burson Marsteller as chief issues counselor for the U.S. Ms. Perino, 36, served as White House press secretary under Mr. Bush from 2007 to 2009 and as deputy press secretary prior to that.

Dana Perino
Dana Perino Credit: AP
Ms. Perino will work out of the agency's Issues and Crisis Group based in Washington and report to Global Exec VP Josh Gottheimer, a former speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and a policy adviser and speechwriter for 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry.

Agency CEO Mark Penn -- who served as Mr. Clinton's pollster during his re-election bid in 1996 and throughout his second term, and also an adviser and strategist to Hillary Rodham Clinton during her U.S. Senate runs and her 2008 presidential bid -- said he expects Ms. Perino's experience handling heavy fire as Mr. Bush's press secretary to help provide guidance to the agency's clients dealing with crises.

"Dana is the latest addition to an already deep bipartisan bench of former presidential advisers," Mr. Penn said in a statement. "She has performed one of the most demanding jobs in Washington. We know the skills and judgment she honed in her time at the White House will serve our clients well."

Looking to Washington
The public-relations industry is looking to Washington to provide a significant amount of business and growth in the coming years and agencies are staffing their public-affairs, lobbying and corporate-communications teams accordingly. Late last year independent agency Edelman brought in Bob Shrum, manager of Mr. Kerry's 2004 presidential bid, and Doug Schoen, Mr. Penn's former partner and founding member of the Penn, Schoen & Berland polling firm, now owned by WPP.

Mr. Penn has compiled a roster of political heavyweights from both sides of the aisle. Along with himself, Mr. Gottheimer and Ms. Perino, the lineup includes Don Baer, the agency's worldwide vice chair, who served Mr. Clinton in various roles including White House director of strategic planning and communications from 1995 to 1997 and chief White House speechwriter from 1994 to 1995. It also includes Karen Hughes, also a worldwide vice chair, who was a counselor to Mr. Bush from 2001 and 2002 and his undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs from 2005 to 2007.

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