United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

Official Seal of the Department of Defense

J. DORRANCE SMITH

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
9-11 Memorial

J. DORRANCE SMITH

 Dorrance Smith, of Virginia, former network television executive and media consultant, was appointed by President George W. Bush in a recess appointment to be Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.

Smith was nominated September 22, 2005, by President Bush to replace Victoria Clarke who resigned June 20, 2003.

Most recently, Smith served in Iraq as the senior media advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority. A former ABC News executive, Smith served as a senior advisor to President George H.W. Bush, where he was Assistant to the President for Media Affairs, and as a staff assistant to President Gerald R. Ford.

From 1989 until 1991, Smith was the executive producer of ABC News 'Nightline', where he was responsible for a weeklong 'Nightline' series originating from South Africa, which covered the release of Nelson Mandela, the broadcasts won an Emmy. In addition he served as executive producer of the prime time special 'Tragedy at Tiananmen-The Untold Story,' which was honored with the DuPont Columbia University Award, the Overseas Press Club Award and an Emmy. 'Nightline' also won an Emmy in 1991 for outstanding news coverage of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Prior to his work on 'Nightline,' Smith was the executive producer of the number one rated Sunday public affairs program, 'This Week with David Brinkley,' a post he held from the program's inception in 1981 until 1989. During his tenure the broadcast received the first Joan Barone Award, the George Foster Peabody Award, and was named the Best National TV Interview Discussion Program by the readers of the Washington Journalism Review.

From 1974 to 1980, Smith held a variety of roles at ABC, including executive producer for all weekend news, Washington producer for ABC News' 'The Iran Crises: America Held Hostage' and ABC News White House producer. Smith also served as ABC News Senior Producer at the 1980 Winter Olympics, the 1984 Winter and Summer Games, and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. Smith joined ABC News as a Washington producer in 1977.

Smith graduated from Claremont Men's College in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.