|27th White House Press Secretary|
September 14, 2007 – January 20, 2009
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Tony Snow|
|Succeeded by||Robert Gibbs|
|Deputy White House Press Secretary|
|President||George W. Bush|
|Spokesperson for the Department of Justice|
|President||George W. Bush|
|Associate Director of Communications for the White House Council on Environmental Quality|
|President||George W. Bush|
|Born||Dana Marie Perino
May 9, 1972
Evanston, Wyoming, U.S.
|Alma mater||Colorado State University-Pueblo
University of Illinois, Springfield
Dana Marie Perino (born May 9, 1972) is an American political commentator and author. She was the 27th White House Press Secretary, serving under President George W. Bush from September 14, 2007 to January 20, 2009. She was the second female White House Press Secretary, after Dee Dee Myers who served during the Clinton Administration. She is currently a political commentator for Fox News, while also serving as a co-host of the network's talk show The Five, and is a book publishing executive at Random House.
Early life and career
Perino was born in Evanston, Wyoming, the daughter of Janice "Jan" and Leo Perino, and grew up in Denver, Colorado. Two of her paternal great-grandparents were Italian immigrants. She attended Ponderosa High School in Parker, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. Perino graduated from Colorado State University-Pueblo (CSU-Pueblo) in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in mass communications and minors in both political science and Spanish. While attending CSU-Pueblo, she was on the forensics team. She also worked at KTSC-TV, the campus-based Rocky Mountain PBS affiliate. While at college, she also worked at KCCY-FM on the 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. shift. Perino went on to obtain a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS). During her time at UIS, she also worked for WCIA, a CBS affiliate, as a daily reporter covering the Illinois Capitol.
Perino next worked in Washington, D.C., for Rep. Scott McInnis (R-CO) as a staff assistant before serving nearly four years as the press secretary for Rep. Dan Schaefer (R-CO), who then chaired the House Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power.
After Schaefer announced his retirement in 1998, Perino and husband Peter McMahon moved to Britain. After a year there, Perino and McMahon moved back to the United States and resided in San Diego, California, for three years.
Perino then joined the White House staff as the associate director of communications for the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), where she provided strategic advice on message development, media relations and public outreach. The House Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), claimed in its findings on climate change censorship, that the CEQ exerted undue control of media relations in governmental scientific agencies during her tenure. Science writer Mark Bowen claimed that Perino directed other public affairs officers to kill press releases about the danger of hydrogen fuel cells after President George W. Bush announced his support for them.
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Perino served as Deputy Press Secretary from 2005 to 2007. She was hired by Scott McClellan. In the role, Perino communicated many times a day with President Bush's director of communications, his press secretary and his director of media affairs, as well as serving as the spokesperson for the White House on environmental issues. In addition, she served as the coordinator for all agencies on environment, energy and natural resource issues, as well as reviewing and approving the agencies' major announcements,
From March 27 through April 30, 2007, she was the Acting White House Press Secretary while Tony Snow underwent treatment for colon cancer.
On August 31, 2007, Bush announced that Snow would be resigning his post for health reasons and that Perino would become his replacement. Perino was accordingly promoted to the rank of Assistant to the President, and served as White House Press Secretary from September 14, 2007, until the end of the Bush Administration in January 2009.
In 2007, during an appearance as the week's celebrity guest on the radio quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, Perino shared that she had once panicked during a White House press briefing when a reporter referred to the Cuban Missile Crisis because she did not know what it was. "I was panicked a bit because I really don’t know about . . . the Cuban Missile Crisis. It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I'm pretty sure. I came home and I asked my husband. I said, 'Wasn't that like the Bay of Pigs thing?’ And he said, 'Oh, Dana.'"
On December 14, 2008, a TV journalist, Muntadar al-Zeidi, threw two shoes at Bush during a Baghdad press conference. Bush successfully dodged both, but Perino's eye was injured by a microphone stand during the commotion surrounding al-Zeidi's arrest.
Post-Bush administration career
Since leaving the White House, Perino became a political commentator on Fox News. She is a regular co-host on the talk show, The Five. In November 2009, she was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an agency overseeing government-sponsored international broadcasting, and was confirmed by the Senate on June 30, 2010. In 2010, she started teaching a class in political communications part-time at George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management. In March 2011 the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., announced that Perino had joined its books imprint Crown Forum as Editorial Director but she has since left this position. On September 18, 2016, Perino's podcast Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What premiered as a weekly Sunday show on The Fox News Network.
Perino met her future husband, Peter McMahon, in 1996. McMahon, born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England, is a businessman involved in the international marketing and sales of medical products. They were married in 1998. It is Perino's first marriage and McMahon's third. While Perino and McMahon have no children, McMahon has children from his previous marriage as well as two grandchildren.
- The Five, March 10, 2014 https://archive.org/details/FOXNEWSW_20140310_210000_The_Five#start/3540/end/3600
- Keller, Susan Jo (November 26, 2007). "Dana Perino". The New York Times. Retrieved March 24, 2010.
- "Dana Perino: Press Job Like Herding Cattle". Archive.newsmax.com. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Barge, Chris (March 31, 2007). "Coloradan steps right into the media spotlight". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on March 27, 2008. Retrieved March 24, 2010.
- Ruffino, Elissa (2008). "White house press secretary dana perino to address public policy lecture series". National Italian American Foundation. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
- "Dana Perino – Voce Italiana Online – Washington DC". Voceitaliana.com. January 1, 2004. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
- Dana Perino Interview: "Minute Mentoring Interview with Janice Perino (a.k.a. My Mom)" March 28, 2013
- Zaletel, Cora (January 18, 2009). "White House Press Secretary to present Spring commencement address at CSU-Pueblo". Colorado State University-Pueblo. Retrieved March 24, 2010.[dead link]
- "Perino's Faux Pas: Brian's Boner Recalled". wordpress.com. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
- "Dana Perino – U of I grad makes good". University of Illinois Alumni Association. Fall 2007. Retrieved March 24, 2010.
- "Dana Perino – UIS grad makes good". University of Illinois Alumni Association. Fall 2007. Retrieved March 24, 2010.
- Baxter, Sarah (December 14, 2007). "Bush's cool blonde is a northern gran". London: The Times. Archived from the original on September 18, 2008. Retrieved December 14, 2007.
- Roberts, Michael (September 19, 2007). "New Forecast". Denver Westwood News.
- Brass, Kevin (September 21, 2007). "Media Watch: The Improbable Rise of Dana Perino". Retrieved December 17, 2008.
- Marshall, Christa (August 31, 2007). "Coloradan takes over for Tony Snow". PoliticsWest, The Denver Post.
- "Dana Perino – Assistant to the President and Press Secretary". U.S. Government. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
- "Political Interference With Climate Change Science Under the Bush Administration" (PDF). United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. December 2007. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- Bowen, Mark (December 27, 2007). "Chapter 5: Gretchen, Do Not Email Me on This". Censoring Science: Inside the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming. Dutton Adult. pp. 116–117. ISBN 0-525-95014-1. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
Steitz remembers that he, Mahone, and Wood got direction from Perino on killing the press release about the potential danger of hydrogen fuel cells.
- "White House Press Secretary Dana Perino plays a game called "You're Cast Away on the Island of Misfit Toys."".
- Baker, Peter (December 10, 2007). "Perino's 'Missile Crisis' Confession". Washington Post. Retrieved December 14, 2007.
- Nizza, Mike (December 10, 2007). "Nobody's Perfect: Press Secretary Edition". New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2007.
- "Sole Survivor". Checkpoint Baghdad. December 14, 2008. Retrieved December 14, 2008.
- "Bush ducks flying shoes during Iraq visit". CTV Television Network. December 14, 2008. Retrieved December 14, 2008.
- "Iraqi Journalist Hurls Shoes at Bush". The New York Times. December 15, 2008. Retrieved December 15, 2008.[dead link]
- "Dana M. Perino". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- "Obama taps former Bush aide to key government post", AFP, November 19, 2009. Footnote augmented March 14, 2010.
- Kane, Paul (June 30, 2010). "Former Bush, Reid aides approved for broadcasting board". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 13, 2010.
- "Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino to Teach at GW's Graduate School of Political Management". George Washington University. July 14, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
- "Dana Perino Appointed Editorial Director of Crown Forum".
- "Dana Perino's 'Jeopardy!' performance". Video.foxnews.com. May 16, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2012.
|White House Press Secretary