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Dana Maria Perino (born May 9, 1972) served as the White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush from September 14, 2007 to January 20, 2009. She was the second female White House Press Secretary; Dee Dee Myers was the first, during the Clinton Administration.

Early life and career

Perino was born in Evanston, Wyomingmarker, grew up in Denver, Coloradomarker, and is Italian-American. She attended Ponderosa High School in Parker, Coloradomarker, a suburb of Denver. Perino graduated from the University of Southern Colorado (now known as Colorado State University-Pueblo) in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in mass communications and minors in both political science and Spanish. While attending the university, she was active on the debate team and with KTSC-TV, the campus-based Rocky Mountain PBS affiliate where she served as host of Capitol Journal, a weekly summary of Coloradomarker politics, and producer of Standoff, a weekly public affairs program. From there, Perino attended graduate school at the University of Illinois at Springfieldmarker (UIS). Perino obtained her masters at UIS in Public Affairs Reporting while also working as a daily reporter covering the Illinois Capitol for WCIAmarker, a CBS affiliate.

Perino then went on to work in Washington, D.C.marker, for Representative Scott McInnis (R-CO, Retired) of Coloradomarker as a staff assistant before serving nearly four years as the press secretary for Rep. Dan Schaefer (R-CO, Retired), who then chaired a House Commerce subcommittee on Energy and Power.

In 1997, while on a flight to Denver, Perino met her future husband, Peter McMahon. McMahon, born in 1964 in Blackpool, Lancashire, Englandmarker, is a businessman involved in the marketing and sales of medical products. The couple was married eleven months later.

After Rep. Schaefer announced his retirement in 1998, Perino and McMahon moved to the United Kingdom. After a year in the UK, Perino and McMahon moved back to the United States and resided in San Diego, Californiamarker, for three years. During that time, Perino worked in the field of high-tech public affairs.

In November 2001, Perino returned to Washington, D.C. and secured a position as a spokesperson for the Department of Justicemarker, at which she served for two years. She then joined the White House staff as the associate director of communications for the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), where she provided the council with strategic advice on message development, media relations and public outreach.

Press Secretary

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, filtering all environment-related media calls for the White House, 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 to 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.

On December 14, 2008, a TV journalist, Muntadar al-Zeidi threw two shoes at Bush during a Baghdadmarker press conference. Bush successfully dodged both, but Perino's eye was injured by a microphone stand during the commotion surrounding al-Zeidi's arrest. When pressed, Perino said, "Sure I would take a shoe for the President".

Post-Bush Administration career

Since leaving the White House, Perino is now a political commentator on Fox News. On April 14, 2009, it was announced that she will join Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations firm.

On November 18, 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Perino to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a board overseeing government-sponsored international broadcasting.

On November 24, 2009, while appearing on the Hannity show on Fox News Channel, Perino stated that there were no terrorist attacks on United States soil during the entirety of the Bush administration. However, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on New York City, took place 8 months after President Bush took office.


  1. Rocky Mountain News profile
  2. UIAA at Springfield: UIS Alumni Magazine: Featured Story
  3. CSU-Pueblo alum named White House Deputy Press Secretary
  4. Wall Street Journal (2009). Bush Aide Perino to Join Firm Led by Clinton Adviser. Retrieved April 14, 2009.

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