University of Pittsburgh
November 12, 2003

Pitt Program Council to Host Torie Clarke, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Nov. 20

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Torie Clarke, former assistant secretary of defense for public affairs at the Pentagon, will present a Pitt Program Council-sponsored lecture at 8:30 p.m. Nov. 20 in the University of Pittsburgh William Pitt Union Assembly Room, 3959 Fifth Ave., in Oakland. The event is free and open to the public.

Clarke, who was at her desk in the Pentagon's outer ring when the World Trade Center was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, had already moved to the Pentagon's Command Center by the time that building was hit. She stayed with U. S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld throughout that day and left the building only to see the crash site and brief the media.

Clarke has played a leading role in shaping the public's understanding of the war on terrorism. She conceived, designed, and ran the program to embed correspondents with military units in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She also accompanied Rumsfeld on official visits to every continent, including trips to Kabul, Baghdad, Moscow, and the Balkans.

A recognized public figure, Clarke is known for her televised press briefings and appearances on such programs as 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Clarke served as press secretary for President George H.W. Bush's 1992 reelection campaign, as assistant U.S. Trade Representative during the first Bush administration, and as an advisor to Arizona Senator John McCain (R) in the earliest days of his congressional career.

She has been president of Bozell Eskew advertising, head of the Washington office of the internationally known public relations firm of Hill and Knowlton, and vice president of the National Cable Telecommunications Association, where she helped to develop the first television ratings system and the cable industry's first on-time guarantee.

A former photographer for the Washington Star, Clarke is a graduate of George Washington University. She lives in suburban Washington with her husband, Brian Graham, and her three children.