Tutwiler to Head PR for Iraq Reconstruction Team
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Tutwiler to Head PR for Iraq Reconstruction Team

Margaret Tutwiler, who served as spokeswoman to former secretary of state James Baker during the 1991 Gulf War, will run the U.S. government’s public relations efforts in post-war Iraq.

Paul Holmes

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Margaret Tutwiler, who served as spokeswoman to former secretary of state James Baker during the 1991 Gulf War, will run the U.S. government’s public relations efforts in post-war Iraq, working with a Pentagon team headed by retired general Jay Garner. She was most recently U.S. ambassador to Morocco.

“Ambassador Margaret Tutwiler is going to depart Morocco soon and serve temporarily as a special envoy of President Bush, assisting the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in Iraq,” deputy State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said. “She’s going to help coordinate the public communications efforts there of that office.”

She will continues to serve as ambassador to Morocco and is expected to return to that position full-time once her assignment in Iraq is complete. However, Tutwiler is also President Bush’s choice to replace Charlotte Beers as under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. Beers stepped down last month for health reasons, but her efforts—which focused on paid advertising rather than earned media coverage—had been criticized as being slick and superficial.

Tutwiler, with her strong background in political public relations, is regarded by many as a more suitable candidate for the position.

In addition to her role as State Department spokeswoman from 1988 to 1992, Tutwiler has served in two other presidential administrations. During former president Ronald Reagan’s first term from 1981 to 1985, she served as an assistant to Baker who was then the White House chief of staff. In Reagan’s second term from 1985 to 1989, Tutwiler was assistant secretary of the treasury for public affairs.

Most recently, she assisted Baker in her attempts to stop the recounts in Florida following the 2000 Presidential election.

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