WASHINGTON, D.C.—Dorrance Smith, a veteran news executive who succeeded Victoria Clark as assistant secretary of defense for public affairs in late 2005, is leaving his position at the end of the month, according to a statement from the Pentagon.
Smith had been nominated to the role by President George W. Bush in September of 2005 but his confirmation was delayed for several months because of controversy created by an op-ed he authored criticizing American television networks for airing footage widely seen elsewhere in the world that he felt was helpful to Al-Qaeda.
Earlier, Smith had served in Iraq as the senior media advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority and as a senior advisor to President George H.W. Bush as assistant to the President for media affairs, and as a staff assistant to President Gerald R. Ford.
From 1989 until 1991, he was the executive producer of ABC News Nightline, and prior to that was executive producer of This Week with David Brinkley.
“Dorrance Smith has indicated to his staff today that he plans to go back into the private sector, that he has largely accomplished what the secretary has asked him to do,” said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.