Adjunct Professor and Fellow
As the former counselor to President George W. Bush, Dan Bartlett was responsible for all aspects of strategic communications planning, the formulation of policy, and the implementation of the administration's agenda.
During his six and half years at the White House, Bartlett oversaw the White House Press Office and the Offices of Communications, Media Affairs, and Speechwriting. He played a key role in developing and executing the President's domestic and foreign policy agenda, and traveled extensively with President Bush to more than forty countries, participating in high-level talks with heads of state, prime ministers, and government representatives. President Bush relied on Bartlett for his policy judgment, which enabled him to develop successful campaigns to reform public schools, pass major tax relief, and begin diversifying America's sources of energy.
In addition, Bartlett played a lead role in launching a global communications strategy as the U.S. responded to the attacks on September 11, 2001. Specifically, he worked with the Department of Defense to give journalists unprecedented access to the men and women fighting the war and provide the American people with a unique perspective on the conduct of major military operations.
Since 1993, when he was twenty-two, Bartlett has been a valuable aid to Bush, beginning with his work on both successful gubernatorial campaigns. From 1994 to 1998, he worked in the governor's office as deputy to the policy director, and during the 1998 reelection campaign, he served as issues director. Following this, Bartlett served as a senior spokesman and the director of rapid response for the Bush for President campaign in Austin, Texas, work that would eventually lead to the White House.
Bartlett became the assistant to the president for communications and then vaulted to White House communications director. Before he was appointed communications director, he was deputy assistant to the president and deputy to then-counselor to the president, Karen Hughes. After her retirement, Bartlett assumed the duty, and went on to build a bridge of communication between the executive office and the news media.
Texas Monthly magazine once described Bartlett as "the linchpin of the most far-reaching, tough-minded, and technologically advanced government communications operation in history." Bartlett's colleagues have lauded his belief that the American people deserve to know as much as possible and are capable of taking "the good with the bad." White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten noted, "His title [was] Counselor to the President, but he's been much more than that." Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove added, "Dan is somebody who has a very good relationship with the president that allows him to be shockingly and sincerely direct. There aren't a lot of those."