Merrie Spaeth

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Merrie Spaeth
Merrie Spaeth 1984.jpg
Merrie Spaeth while working
at the White House in 1984
Born (1948-08-23) August 23, 1948 (age 70)
Alma mater Smith College (BA), Columbia University (MBA)

Merrie Spaeth (born August 23, 1948) is an American political and public relations and communications consultant, and former film actress. Spaeth is the founder and President of Spaeth Communications and specializes in executive training and coaching.


Early life and education[edit]

Spaeth attended Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While in high school Spaeth tried out for and won the role of Marian "Gil" Gilbert in The World of Henry Orient (1964). In 1970, Spaeth graduated with honors from Smith College. Later Spaeth earned an MBA from Columbia Business School where she graduated cum laude.


Spaeth is the daughter of Dr. Philip G. Spaeth and Marcia Ryan Spaeth. In 1984, Spaeth married "Tex" Lezar, who was at the time a counselor to the Attorney General. Together they have three children.


As of 1994, Spaeth had taught BLC (business leadership center) seminar classes at the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business. There, she lectures on "Communication as a Strategic Business Tool," "Influencing Through the Power of Storytelling," and "Humor as a Leadership Tool."[when?]

Film and entertainment career[edit]

At the age of 15, Spaeth was cast to play Marian "Gil" Gilbert in The World of Henry Orient (1964) alongside Peter Sellers, Angela Lansbury, Paula Prentiss and Tippy Walker. Following the film's release, Spaeth represented the U.S. at the Cannes International Film Festival in France. In honor of the film's 50th anniversary Spaeth returned to Hollywood at the Turner Classic Film Festival where she introduced the film with Paula Prentiss.

Political career[edit]

White House Fellows[edit]

In the early 1980s, Spaeth was accepted to the White House Fellows program where she was assigned to work under Federal Bureau of Investigation Director William Webster as his special assistant, after which she worked for two years as director of public affairs for the Federal Trade Commission. In 1983, Spaeth became director of media relations at the White House for President Ronald Reagan, where she was credited with bringing the White House into the ‘Space Age’ through her introduction of satellite interviews to the White House.

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth[edit]

During the 2004 presidential campaign, Spaeth advised the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that questioned the Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s Vietnam War record. The so-called Swift Boat incident has been cited as targeting Senator Kerry with unfair and out of context statements about his military service.

Professional career[edit]

Spaeth Communications[edit]

After moving to Dallas with her husband, Spaeth founded Spaeth Communications in 1987, where she is the President. The strategic training and crisis management firm is known for its unique methodology. In addition to its crisis management, training and consulting services, Spaeth publishes monthly the BIMBO Memo(c) which recognizes monthly communication missteps.

Employee embezzlement[edit]

In 2013, a long-time employee of Spaeth’s company, pleaded guilty to embezzling nearly $1 million from the company.

Work with Mike Leach and Craig James[edit]

Former NFL player Craig James hired Spaeth Communications to advise on the alleged mistreatment of his son, AJ, a Texas Tech football player. Mike Leach was later dismissed by Texas Tech and he later sued Spaeth Communications, Texas Tech, and ESPN.

Media experience[edit]

In 1979, Spaeth was a producer for 20/20. There, she produced segments on the like of Liberace, gifted children and motorcycle gangs. In 1978 Spaeth hosted and produced a nightly television show in Columbus, Ohio, for Warner-Amex Cable. Between 1970 and 1978, Spaeth wrote for numerous print publications and was a reporter for several local television stations. Additionally, Spaeth was a speechwriter for William S. Paley, founder and chairman of CBS.

Published works[edit]

Magazines, newspapers and periodicals[edit]

Spaeth contributed to DCEO from 2006 to 2010 writing columns regarding executive communication. Additionally, Spaeth has written for HR Executive, PR Week, Bank Marketing, Public Diplomacy, Modern Healthcare, PRSA Strategist, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Spaeth is frequently interviewed for articles in NPR, the Associated Press and as the communication expert for local television stations.


Spaeth has written three books, Marketplace Communication, Words Matter, and You Don’t Say!


External links[edit]