Victoria Clarke was sworn in as the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, Tuesday, May 22, 2001, during a ceremony at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
David O. Cooke, director of administration and management for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, administered the oath of office. Clarke was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs on April 5, 2001, and confirmed by the Senate on May 17, 2001.
In remarks during the ceremony, Clarke said she was extremely proud to be nominated by President Bush and chosen by Secretary Rumsfeld to serve in the position. "I am privileged to be working with and for the men and women of the U.S. military," she said.
Previously, Clarke was the general manager of the Washington, D.C. office of Hill and Knowlton, responsible for the oversight of all Washington practice area operations. Prior to joining Hill and Knowlton, Clarke was the president of Bozell Eskew Advertising, an issues and advocacy advertising firm. She also served for six years with the National Cable Television Association, leaving with the position of vice-president for public affairs and strategic counsel.
Clarke has an extensive background in various policy positions. Starting as a press assistant in Vice President George Bush's office in 1982, she continued on to the position of press secretary to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), working in both his congressional and senatorial offices. Following that, Clarke was the assistant U.S. trade representative for public affairs and private sector liaison under Ambassador Carla Hills. In 1992 she was the press secretary for President Bush's re-election campaign.